Sunday, April 30, 2006

My Marathon Shoes

I ran today. Not during the early morning hours, as most sensible Houstonites but during late afternoon. It was about 88 degrees so not terribly brutal. Compounding this problem was the fact that I ran out of clean lighter colored technical shirt so I had run in my navy blue ones. Needless to say, I was seeking shades. Today's run was also a little sentimental. This was to be my last ride on my marathon shoes. I have used these Kayanos to run in the Houstonian Lite 30K, the Houston Marathon, Surf Side Half Marathon, Bayou City Classic 10K, Lucky Trails Marathon, Blue Bell Fun Run 10K and various Run the Woodlands 5K. With these Kayanos, I've experienced triumphant moments like finishing my first marathon and setting multiple P.R.'s to running on hard packed sand as well as trails. Perhaps I can still use them to run 3 milers with my wife.

Run Summary:

Distance: 7.55 miles
Time: 1:12:46
Pace: 9:38/mile
Shoes: 349.7 miles (Asics Gel-Kayano XI)

My overheating body required a few walking breaks. Strangely though, I was running a little faster than normal while I was running.

Hello Every Body?!?!

What does H.E.B. stand for? Hello Every Body? Short for HEBrew? Or is that He Brew, like "he brew it..." If not a greeting or a religion or beer, then maybe Humongously Edible BBQ. Perhaps it's in honor of me in Spanish. Holden Es Bueno. Yep. I like that one.

In other irrelevant news, I've made a slight change in my running habit. Instead of trying to run 3 times a week, I've decided to run every other day. This should in theory increase the mileage slightly as it translates into about 3-1/2 runs per week. Run well my dear readers!

Best Regards,

Holden Es BuenoPosted by Picasa

Friday, April 28, 2006

Alamo a la mode

Alamo during Sunday afternoon, April 23rd.

6.07 Mile Run

Time: 54:32
Pace: 8:59/mile
Shoe: 342.8 miles on Asics Gel-Kayano XI
Temp: Upper 60's & high humidity

Today, the legs were tired. The quads were sore, knee joints weak and my stomach muscles were in revolt from excess sit ups I did Wednesday night. So, to appease my angry body, I reduced the run from 7.55 miles to 6.07. However, I upped the speed slightly, coming in just under 9 minute pace.

I have 2 photo shooting assignments this weekend. That would make 3 shooting assignments in 2 weeks. Pretty cool. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, April 27, 2006

United Airlines

I had a need to go to Chicago for a day trip last Tuesday. Day trips are a tiring event, needing to get up way too early in the morning and not getting home until very late. Even so, I didn't mind because I like commercial air travel. I have been a fan of commercial aviation ever since I first flew in them back in the early 70's. I was the only kid in school that could differentiate between a B-707 and a DC-8, between L1011 and DC-10 (and the later version, the MD-11) between the B747-200 series from a B747-400 series etc. Even now, I can tell apart an A320 from a B737 and the Embraer's regional jets from the Bombardier's Canadair jets.
As a kid, I've flown some very interesting flight plans. My most memorable one was flying SAS (Scandinavian Airline Systems) B707 from Tokyo to Anchorage to Copenhagen in 1974. That was an 18 hour flight (2 9 hour legs) on a single isle plane. My most frightening flight was on a Korean Air Lines flight in 1974, I was 8 years old and flying by myself from Seoul to Pusan. It was supposed to be a simple 45 minute flight but due to terrible thunderstorms that day, the plane bucked through some heavy chop and hit several air pockets. Now, for those that has not experienced airpockets in the air, it is pretty much a sudden free fall until the plane recaptures lift. So needless to say, this 8 year old was pretty freaked out.

On this particular trip, I had an opportunity to fly United Express' new Embraer ERJ 170 series. These are the new 70 seater planes with engines under the wings rather than on the tails. They actually look like a baby 737. The return flight featured an Airbus A320. I have been flying Continental's B737 series for the past 3 years and my perception on this flight was that it felt roomier and less claustrophobic.

The best part of flying United Airlines is their channel 9 audio service. It is a live feed into cockpit radio transmission with air control. I always liked this feature and missed it during the last 3 years of flying Continental. It allows you to feel engaged with your flight. When the controllers tells your pilots to "turn left to 090", then you feel the plane making the turn. As we were taxxing around O'Hare for our runway, you realize how busy and crazy that airport is. The O'Hare tower guy was in constant rapid fire mode trying to direct planes that were literally everywhere. After we took off, the conversations revolved around constant course and altitude changes to find the smoothest air as there was a huge line of weather front passing through the mid-section of the country. As we approached home, IAH was surrounded by storm clouds. Here's an excerpt with Houston control.

United 753, turn right to 090.
Houston, did you mean turn LEFT to 090?
United 753, I thought I said left. If not, turn LEFT to 090.
753, roger.
United 753, I can give you some lee way to pick through that thunderstorm.
How about 110?
No can do, there is a line of outbound flights using that heading.
Boy, it's getting awfully tight here....
753, I can put you on a holding pattern on the west side, your call.
We'll pick our way through...

The plane starts to bump around some but finally manages to thread it's way through the mess.

On the final approach, tower advises us, wind gusts from west up to 25 knots and there is a wind shear advisory....

Despite all that, the plane makes a very smooth landing. Awesome. On my way out, our captain is standing on the flightdeck doorway greeting passengers.

"Thanks for the ride!" I greeted the captain and left the plane. (Side note: Continental pilots don't do this. What's up with that?)


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Albert the Fiddler


Alex's grade 3 class had a "Famous People Wax Museum Day" where the students dressed the part and pretended to be a talking wax figures. There was a big red button by the display and when you pressed it, the "wax" figures talked about the preson they represented. Alex wanted to be Albert Einstein because he wants to be a scientist and a violinist when he grows up. Apparently, Albert also played the violin.

Natural Bridge Caverns

If one's life's priorities are seen as a circle upon circle of activities (like a bulls eye target) with the most important functions in the center, you have the tendency of drawing towards the center as life becomes busier. In the core of this bulls eye would be the essential functions you must do to keep your life.. well, alive. This would be breathing, eating, sleeping etc. The next circle out would be your family and friends. The next one out, probably your work so that you can buy food and shelter etc. Well, for me, running has worked it's way pretty close to my core. However, due to lots of activities recently, I had to even forgo some of this running stuff.a convergence of multiple tasks and activities I had to complete, this running stuff has been ignored a little. This is a bad thing of course.

I took this picture inside the Natural Bridge Caverns last weekend doing touristy things with my in-laws. This was a hand held shot at ISO 400 with the shutter pressed between my breathing. It is pretty cool stuff. If you haven't been inside a cave, I strongly recommend it. Don't go if you are claustrophobic though.

Last Monday (24th) I was able to find about an hour's worth of time to go running. Unfortunately, it was around 6PM when the temp was still hovering around 88. Boy was it hot. I was on the verge of over heating. Still, I slugged it out. I had to. Too much pent up energy for not running at all during the weekend. I'm beginning to wonder if I've become addicted to running.

7.55 Mile Hot Run

Time: 1:13:10
Pace: 9:41.mile
Shoes: 328.5 miles, Asics, Kayano XI
Weight Differential: 4 lbs

Did I mention that it was hot? I lost 4 lbs in sweat.

The following day, (yesterday) I took a day trip to Chicago. When I got there, it was 39 degrees and sleeting and snowing. SNOWING!!! In freaking April!!! How cool is that?

Today, in the hopes of getting back into my running routine, I donned my Kayanos and went. Temperatures were much more agreeable that Monday. I think the starting temperature was 58. It was one of those runs where you feel you can run forever. Too bad my budgeted time doesn't allow forever.

7.55 Mile Fun Run

Time: 1:09:24
Pace: 9:11/mile
Shoes: 336.1 miles on Asics Gel Kayano XI

I think my shoes are nearing the end of their useful running life. I'm starting to feel a little stress in my ankle area, as if the shoe is not supporting my feet well. There are very sentimental shoes. Still, I suppose I should break out the new Asics GT-2110 I'd bought back in January.Posted by Picasa

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Busy busy

Life's a bit on the busy side this week. Out of town trips and various other commitments. In-Laws are also visiting from Korea. This morning's run was the first since Sunday.

6.07 Mile Fun Run:

Time: 56:07
Pace: 9:14/mile
Asics Gel-Kayano XI: 321 miles

Today's run was humid, humid, humid. I was sweating, sweating, sweating.

Looks like this weekend is also packed with activity starting with a photo shoot assignment Saturday morning to doing touristy things with my In-Laws in Austin and San Antonio for the remainder of the weekend. We're also planning to visit the Natural Bridge Caverns for some spelunking and the San Marcos Outlet Mall for shopping.

My Sandisk Sansa M240 has been traveling with me since I got it. I must say, it's cool to be traveling with over 200 songs in a small device. Way cool. For those of you that do a lot of air travel, get a pair of ear bud head phones that fit inside your ear canal. It's like putting on foam hearing protectors. It passively blocks out a bunch of noise without using noise canceling head phones. I only wish I could carry around a 1000 song library though. Heh.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Sunday Morning Run

Nice and beautiful. The weather. I was able to squeeze in a 7 mile run before Sunday morning church service and weekend fatherhood.

7.55 Mile Fun Run

Time: 1:15:01
Pace: 9.56/mile
Kayano XI: 314.9 miles

I've been playing around with my Sandisk Sansa M240 the last few days. Definitely need more memory. My future unit will need to have at least 10 GB. Until then, 1GB and exchanging music through the Windows Media Player. Strange though. I already have over 200 songs in my player and am already complaining. Wny do I want to carry the entire music collection?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Fog run

More RTW pic. Second turn of the first loop inside Bush Elementary.

Wife dragged me out of bed again. Boy was I dragging. The weather was pretty cool though. Dense fog and in the low 60's. Perfect running conditions. We started down our familiar 5K course and by the second mile, I got chicked. I couldn't keep up with her. It was pretty cool. She even said that physically, it felt great all the way.

Fran's: 26:35
Holden's: 27:42

Kayano XI: 307.4 Miles

I reminded her that until she runs a race, none of these P.R.'s are official. Heh.Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Runners in Red Shirt

Several pics from the RTW race last Saturday (Courtesy of RTW and Jon Walk). I followed Rick Cook's red technical shirt to a P.R.

Tuesday Morning Run:

Another glorious running morning. Temps in the low 60's and comfortable humidity.

6.07 Miles: 55:12
Pace: 9:05/Mile

Asics Gel Kayano XI: 304.3 Miles

Nice and relaxing. Totally opposite of how I felt last week on the same route. Perhaps it was Fig Newtons I ate prior to the run.

On a musical note: I had a $25 Borders gift card burning a hole in my pocket. I finally cashed it by buying a couple of CD's. ABBA and Black Eyed Peas. My, my, how totally opposite can you get? I'm ripping both for myself and Allison's iPod.Posted by Picasa

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Making love to his tonic and gin

My MP3 player is not here yet. I marked off free shipment when I ordered it so it's probably on a USPS cart pulled by a donkey making it's way slowly from SoCal. However, I've now developed a new habit of listening to music on Windows Media Player while playing on my laptop. Looking at my newly developed play list, I see a strange swath of music. There's Beethoven, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi, Dvorak, Eagles, Queen, Billy Joel, LeeAnn Rimes, Prince, Kenny G, Jewel, Jimmy Buffet, Whitney Houston, Frank Sinatra, John Denver etc. There's no 21st Century music though. I should have ordered a player with a little bit more memory. I already amassed 1.58 Gigs of stuff. I guess I'll just have to cycle through some music. Now I understand why folks buy 30GB players.

Got a quick 5K run in this afternoon. I ran it in 27 minutes and change. It felt good to have a nice short relaxing run after yesterday's balls out effort. My muscles feel a lot better after this run. Almost like they're looser now.

My marathon Kayanos have now racked up 298.2 miles. They've been through a lot of important races with me. It's going to be hard throwing this pair out when the time comes. Running has become a big part of my life. It has a quality of predictable consistency that lacks in daily life's happenings. When things get slightly out of kilter, there is no finer therapy than sweating it out with a good run.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Run The Woodlands 5K

First of all, Dirt Runner Rocks! He volunteered to pace me to a new P.R. He did and I got a new P.R!

This morning's temps were cool and dry. (Low 60's at race time?) Driving over, I felt today was going to be the last cool day in Houston for a long time. So this was going to be the last chance for a good fast 5K run.

My plan this morning was simple. Follow Mr. Dirtman's red shirt from start to finish. Every now and then, he'd look back and ask, "How're we doing?" I'd say, "huff! puff! Um... OK!..." I'd be thinking..."There are these dark spots forming at the edges of my vision.....hmmm, I guess I'll keep his red shirt in the center part of my vision.... :)

Actually, the run felt pretty good. I was pressing at the edges of my physical condition from start to finish and the pace seemed pretty good. This run felt easier than my last attempt at a P.R., probably because I only had to focus on running while Rick did the time management. He told me several times to focus on the cadence and rhythm.

Mile 1: 7:45
Mile 2: 8:10
Mile 3: 8:04
0.1 Mile: 0:44 (I was probably a few yards away from throwing up..)

Total: 24:44 P.R. BABY!

Pace: 7:58/Mile

Kayano Miles: 295.1

Friday, April 07, 2006

AM Run

I wasn't planning on running this morning. My wife had different ideas though. She woke me up at 5:45 and told me that it was too dark to go running by herself. She thought it would be great if I could run right behind her. A few minutes later, I was running! Great!

3.1 Mile Fun Run:

Mile 1: 9:26
Mile 2: 8:38
Mile 3.1: 9:31

Total: 27:35
Pace: 8:53/mile
Kayano Miles: 292

I thought I was going lights out on the first mile only to find myself on a 9:26/mile pace. Apparently, the rest of the body still wasn't decided on the run and was sitting on the fence. Second mile felt slower than the first but was actually much quicker. By the end of the run, I was fully awake and glad for this sweat inducing run. I kept my word and ran about 3 paces behind Fran. So technically, these are Fran's paces.

Tonight: Weight work out at the Y.
Tomorrow: Run the Woodlands 5K (Fran will not be joining, our kid's car pool schedule broke down and she will have to ferry the kids in the morning.)Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

6.07 miles of bleh

Not a good running day. Midway between mile 2 & 3, I just ran out of energy. I was hungry and craving some sweet stuff. I had to incorporate some serious walk breaks in this run after this point. My heart rate was also very high. It would go up to 180, near my max rate. I'm not sure what the issue was. Perhaps because I was not properly hydrated?

Miles: 6.07
Course: Home to Barb Elementary to Home.
Time: 1:05 ish. (I forgot to stop the watch)
Pace: 10:42/mile
Kayano Miles: 288.9

To make up for the dismal running performance, I went to the gym tonight to work on some weights and climb stairs. I'm feeling pretty tired right now.

Music Download from Everyday Low Prices!

I don't have my MP3 unit yet. But I'm practicing buying music. sells downloads for $0.88 per song at 128Kbps in WMA format. I must definitely be uncool and unhip since I'm "buying." Sigh.

Bought some Billy Joel songs. Is that bad?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Here is my antiPod I ordered from today. It's a Sandisk Sansa M240 1GB flash unit. Review was so - so but how can you argue with $65 after $10 rebate (and free shipment) for a starter MP3 player? (Technically it will be a WMA player since I will be ripping in that format.) It comes with 20 preset FM stations and a small mic. If all else fails, I can use it as a flash memory unit.

Now I can really rock on - to Amadeus & Ludwig.

Fun Run

Early morning beach shot.

Toe is recovering nicely. I could put the shoe on without too much pain. Thus, a short 5K run was in order. The weather turned much cooler this morning from yesterday so resistance was futile. Legs were full of pent up energy. I needed some relief.

Mile 1: 8:36
Mile 2: 8:40
Mile 3: 8:07
0.1 Mile: 0:39

Total: 26:03
Pace: 8:24/Mile
Kayano Miles: 282.8

Now, if I can run 64 seconds faster at the "Run The Woodlands 5K" this weekend, I'd be a happy runner. :)Posted by Picasa

Monday, April 03, 2006

Corpus Christi

Hunter the pup trolling the beaches of Padre Island in Corpus Christi.

"Stupid is what stupid does." Yea. Friday afternoon, as we were packing for a weekend trip to Corpus, and as I was thinking about packing my running gear to run on the beach, I jammed my pinkie toe on the door ledge. I lost balance as I was stepping into the garage and somehow slammed the door on my toe. It was painful. Skin broke in 2 places and bled like crazy. Thank goodness the blood was on the garage floor and not on our carpet. First, I thought I broke a bone. Fortunately, it just swelled up like crazy. Unfortunately, it hurt like crazy and there was no way I could go running. So no beach running. Bummer.
Anyway, I substituted running with swimming today. Swam 1 mile in the pool. That's like 64 laps. It's no fun compared to running outside but hopefully I burnt some calories.

1 Mile: 42:36
Pace: 42:36/mile
Running shoes: none

Taking a page out of Jamoosh, listening to, "Tchaikoski's 1812 Overture."

Adventures in Parenting: For my daughter's 11th birthday, I asked her if she wanted a birthday party or, if she felt too old for that sort of thing, she could use the money budgeted for her birthday party to buy an expensive "toy." She quickly opted for an iPod and a small boombox for her room. So for the first time in my life, I went to the Apple Store in The Woodlands and bought an MP3 player (iPod Nano 1G). Since then, I've been on a crash course to understand MP3, WMA, codec, compression quality at 128kbps, 160 kbps, 64 kbps etc. Since then, I've been trying out the Windows Media Player and iTunes, different EQ settings, "ripping," etc. etc. Anyway, I've been having so much fun with it that I think I'm going to go buy one myself. I already ordered a good quality Sony ear buds for my laptop. Some old ones I had lying around just wasn't cutting it with sound quality. For my laptop, I've been ripping WMA files at 160kbps even though most web articles say 128kbps should be fine. Why? Because MSN Music Store sells their WMA files at 160kbps. Anyway, I'm looking at some Sandisk and Creative 1 gig flash models right now. Posted by Picasa