Friday, February 29, 2008

Texas Independence Relay - Prologue

TIR is finally here! Let's see. Bag is packed. I hope I left nothing behind. I keep having this recurring nightmare both when I'm awake and when I'm sleeping that when I finally get to Gonzalez and my team is ready to run the prologue, I am shoeless..... All 3 pairs of my running shoes are back in The Woodlands. Shoeless Joe, shoeless Choi. Almost rhymes. Sigh.

The journey starts tomorrow morning at 1:30 AM. That is my alarm time. My ride should be picking me up at 2:10 AM. From that point on, there will be a little sleeping, a little running, a little eating, a little costume changing all in the tiny confines of a minivan which will be filled with 6 to 7 teammates for 30 plus hours. Our team, the Battling Bloggers of the Texas Republic is a true 21st Century team. We mostly all met each other the 21st Century way, through the Internet, through the web log phenomenon. Our backgrounds and interests are as diverse as the world wide web, but brought together as a team in this inaugural TIR by our common love of running and our intense desire to defeat the Texian Road Warriors.

I can't wait for the fun to begin!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Run The Woodlands 5K

Time: 24 min 39 secs
Pace: 7:57 min/miles
Shoes: Asics Kayano XIII (245.81)
Weight: 173 lbs.
Calories burned: 393.7 kcal (958.2 kcal/hr)

I broke my record this morning. My last P.R. time was 24:44 set back in April of 2006. It's only a 5 second P.R. but never the less, I feel like I'm peaking at the right moment for the TIR race next weekend. I don't have mile by mile breakdown because I erased my time accidentally. I also told Rick Cook that I beat my time by 30 seconds. Doh! Sorry Rick. I was probably still oxygen deprived and apparently looking at something other than my finish time.

Strategy this morning once again was going out as fast as I could and trying to hold on to the end. To that effect, I remember the first mile coming up at 7:25 which is a pretty fast pace for me. Lungs felt like it was going to explode around half way point. Then I started to get stitches on the right side by mile 2. Strangely, the urge to throw up never came. Perhaps I wasn't pushing hard enough?

In no news, I did 3 miles on the treadmill last night. Yawn.

Friday, February 22, 2008

More Shoes

I've Done it again. I bought another pair of running shoes. Darn internet. Actually, it was on deep discount as the replacement model was out. I bought a pair of Adrenaline GTS 7, size 10.5 2E.
Asics Gods will probably punish me with some kind of an injury as this is the first pair of non Asiscs shoes I've bought since I started running (not counting the Reeboks I was wearing in the very beginning which the nice folks at Luke's told me to throw away because it was the wrong shoes at the wrong time on the wrong feet.) The same guy at Luke's also told me I was a mild over pronator and needed stability shoes. He also taught me the nuances of moisture wicking fabrics, hydration and nutrition. Most of that was way over my head that day but, all that got me all curious and started my journey down the rabbit hole. Who knew running was so technical? That would have been during the spring of 2005 Ahhh, the good old days.
Long term weather forecast for the TIR weekend currently looks like this:
Saturday: 71/50 with 30% chance of rain
Sunday: 72.51 with 10% chance of rain
This would be great if the forecast stays like this.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Spirit of the Marathon

Few nights ago, I informed my wife that I'll be spending Thursday evening at the movies to watch Spirit of the Marathon. From the "look" I got, I presumed correctly that I'll be going by myself. LOL. Non running folks. What can I say?

Most of the movie was shot in Chicago so it was doubly special for me as I have spent 21 years of my life there. After the movie, I was glad to know that Daniel Njenga won the Tokyo Marathon twice (thanks wikipedia!).

The documentary is surprisingly well made albeit a little old. 2005. It brought back a lot of memory from my own first time marathon, the 2006 Houston Marathon.

This was a great evening. Now I'm psyched about the TIR race.

In other news, I bought a ball. I wasn't feeling very manly so the urge to splurge got to me. It's a 65 cm inflatable type. (Why are exercise balls sized in metric?) My abs are currently on fire. Balancing on that sucker is way harder than I thought.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tune Up

Evening run. Slept in this morning. Actually, I did wake up but it was too friggin cold so I rolled over and slept some more. So lazy....

Evening was just as pleasant, with low humidity and gentle breezes. I think the temp was in the upper 50's.

Mile 1: 8:16
Mile 2: 8:19
Mile 3: 8:27
Mile 4: 8:34
0.17: 1:22

Distance: 4.17 miles
Time: 34 min 57 secs
Pace: 8:23 min/miles
Shoes: Asics Kayano XIII (239.71)
Weight: 174 lbs.
Calories burned: 532.2 kcal (913.7 kcal/hr)

For TIR, I need to maintain a sub 9 min/mile pace to not let my team down. I think this should not be a problem on the first day but I'm wondering how I'd respond on the second day. It should be interesting.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Weekend Beat

Saturday morning, I met up with Karen and Pete for some running. Pete is a friend of Karen's and is also on a TIR team. Turns out he also goes to the same church as I. Small world. I signed up for a 7 miler which was good for one of the loops Karen mapped out. Karen and Pete ended up doing another loop to get their long run mileage up to 13 plus miles. Despite the constant threat of rain, it held off, although I was drenched in my own sweat. One thing about a group run. I always enjoy it. I should do it more often.

Mile 1: 9:54
Mile 2: 9:36
Mile 3: 9:28
Mile 4: 9:40
Mile 5: 11:18 (walk break - killer humidity)
Mile 6: 9:44
Mile 7: 10:27 (walk break)
0.27: 2:47

Distance: 7.26 miles
Time: 1 hr 12 min 55 secs
Pace: 10:03 min/miles
Shoes: Asics Kayano XIII (232.4)
Weight: 177 lbs.
Calories burned: 940.3 kcal (773.7 kcal/hr)

Sunday afternoon, I was very tempted to go out running again. But I was pooped. 3 straight days of running just burnt me out. So I switched and went swimming instead. 40 minutes of lap swimming at the Y.

Next race: This coming Saturday's RTW 5K.

Friday, February 15, 2008


OK, I snuck in a 3 miler on the treadmill at 10 min. pace. Why does that always feel harder than 9 minute pace outdoors? Son Alex was in Tae Kwon Do class at the Y and I had nothing better to do.

No Running News Today

But the internet was available and so I bought another pair of Asics Gel Kayano XIII. Size 10.5 2E.

Let's Revote in Michigan and Florida (Reprinted without permission from Wall Street Journal)

February 15, 2008; Page A15

Democrats are headed for a trainwreck in campaign '08 that threatens to produce a tainted Democratic presidential nominee and, worse, a divisive and delegitimized presidential contest.
Recall that when Michigan and Florida moved up their primaries in defiance of Democratic Party rules earlier this year, the party bosses decided to punish them by unseating their delegates. The Florida and Michigan primaries were turned into beauty contests.
At the time, it seemed like a good move since everyone assumed that the Michigan and Florida delegates wouldn't really matter in the nomination battle. The conventional wisdom was that one Democratic candidate would emerge early in the contest, and arrive at the convention with a comfortable margin of delegates for the nomination.
But the one constant in campaign '08 so far is that the conventional wisdom is wrong. Instead of a sprint, the Democratic race has turned into a slog. And it's now looking more and more likely that the Democratic presidential fight will not produce a clear and decisive winner.
So here's the run-away train careening toward the Democratic National Convention in Denver in August: If the delegate count of both campaigns is still close by the time of the convention, Florida and Michigan's combined 366 delegates will suddenly become very relevant. Instead of uniting behind a nominee, the party will be at war with itself over whether to seat the Michigan and Florida delegates. And Democrats know from hard experience that chaotic, contentious conventions and the nominees they produce (remember Chicago in 1968? San Francisco in 1972?) do not bode well for success in November.
One of the great ironies of this election season is that the very mechanism created by Democrats to avoid contentious conventions like those in Chicago and San Francisco promises to create further chaos in Denver this year.
Superdelegates are really "politician delegates." Superdelegates are technically uncommitted party insiders who can vote for whomever they choose. They were created by the party that prides itself on supposedly representing the common man to be the palace guards of the Democratic establishment. Bill Clinton is a superdelegate, as is Al Gore. They are Democratic Party insiders whose purpose is to put down insurgent campaigns and protect the interests of Democratic politics as usual.
The closeness of the delegate count has set off a furious race between Sens. Clinton and Obama for the superdelegates. But any attempt by either campaign to win with these party insiders what they couldn't win with the voting public would destroy not only the prospects of the "victorious" candidate, but the prospects of the Democratic Party itself.
So the Democrats are caught in a double-bind: Disenfranchising the voters in Michigan and Florida while allowing party insiders to pick the party's nominee has all the makings of a Democratic civil war.
You might think that as a Republican I don't have a dog in this fight, but I do. All of us do. A tainted or "stolen" Democratic nomination has the potential to delegitimize the election itself and its outcome. And tainted victories produce hobbled administrations. Much as I might have agreed with the outcome of the 2000 general election, the rancor and vitriol it produced created divisions among Americans where none naturally existed before, irreparably damaging the Bush administration.
Contrary to the political consultants' handiwork and the mainstream media's mythmaking, America is not a nation fundamentally divided between red and blue. We are surprisingly united on the core values that make us Americans and the practical solutions to the challenges we face. We need an election process with the integrity to produce a nominee who can lead this natural majority.
The question is: How?
Giving the Michigan and Florida delegates to Sen. Clinton -- particularly in light of reports that she bent the Democratic Party rules against campaigning in both states -- is a recipe for even more chaos.
On the other hand, leaving the Florida and Michigan delegates unseated runs the risk for the Democrats of alienating two big states they want and need to win in November.
The answer, for the integrity of the process, is a do-over: Hold the Michigan and Florida Democratic primaries again.
The voters -- not the party insiders -- have the moral authority to choose the nominee. Democratic voters in Michigan and Florida should get that chance. Then in November, we'll have a fair fight. And I'll be honest -- it may not help the chances for a Republican victory in the fall. But it will help something even more important: the integrity of our political process.

Mr. Gingrich, former speaker of the House, is the author of "Real Change: From the World that Fails to the World that Works" (Regnery, 2008).

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Pinkie Told Me It Was 40 deg F

Yes, it's true. After all the cold running I've done this winter, I can tell when the temperature hovers in the low 40's/upper 30's. My hands tell me. It was hard enough getting out of bed and into my running gear that by the time I realized it was colder than I anticipated, I didn't want to go back into the dark house and rummage for my gloves. I tried my best to warm up by going faster and faster. The torso felt fine after about a mile but the hands and the thighs never really warmed up. Now that I look at the numbers below, it turned out to be a pretty good negative splitting. My hands hurt in the shower but never the less, I just thoroughly enjoy a hot long shower after a cold run. Today was no exception.

Mile 1: 9:23
Mile 2: 9:10
Mile 3: 8:47
Mile 4: 8:26
0.16: 1:18

Distance: 4.16 miles
Time: 37 min 05 secs
Pace: 8:55 min/miles
Shoes: Asics Kayano XIII (222.14)
Weight: 174 lbs.
Calories burned: 530.8 kcal (858.8 kcal/hr)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Even More Boring Data

Mile 1: 9.31
Mile 2: 9:15
Mile 3: 9:15
Mile 4: 9:08
0.32: 2:52

Distance: 4.32 miles
Time: 40 min 01 secs
Pace: 9:16 min/miles
Shoes: Asics Kayano XIII (217.98)
Weight: 174 lbs.
Calories burned: 551.1 kcal (826.3 kcal/hr)

Nothing really to comment on. I've been running 4 plus miles for the last few weeks (which is the distance of most of my legs at TIR) and can run these distances without much pain. After some discussions with Jon and Rick Cook, I'm going to be looking to buy a small mace canister (for the stray dogs) and a LED head lamp for TIR run.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Weather Too Good Not To Run

Beautiful morning. It could not go to waste. It was a perfect long sleeve shirt day. I wore the Sunmart 50K tech shirt. I'm getting a little inspired by Jon's achievement. I'm not sure about a 50 miler but I think I can run the 50K again.

Compared to yesterday's pace, today's pace felt very leisurely. My legs appreciated this slower pace. So did I.

Mile 1: 9:51
Mile 2: 9:40
Mile 3: 9:30
Mile 4: 9:22
0.14: 1:17

Distance: 4.14 miles
Time: 39 min 40 secs
Pace: 9:35 min/miles
Shoes: Asics Kayano XIII (213.66)
Weight: 174 lbs.
Calories burned: 528.1 kcal (798.7 kcal/hr)

Saturday, February 09, 2008


Cool, 49 degrees. Ran 3 miles of treadmill last night and also 40 minutes of swimming. So I was a little tired, felt it in the thighs and glutes mostly. By mile 2, the endorphins started to take over and I felt less fatigued.

Time: 25 min 03 secs (25 seconds faster than 2 weeks ago)
Pace: 8:05 min/miles
Shoes: Asics Kayano XIII (209.52)
Weight: 173 lbs.
Calories burned: 393.6 kcal

Mile 1: 7:36
Mile 2: 8:17
Mile 3: 8:23
0.1: 0:45

Once again, I went out as fast as I could and tried to hold off the pain, fatigue and the wish to vomit.

I had the pleasure of talking to my TIR team captain and newly minted 50 miler, Jon Walk this morning also. He ran today. How he does that I do not know.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Lunch Hour Run

You know you're a runner when you choose a run over food.

Type: Tempo run
Day: 02/06/2008 12 noon
Time: 36 min 45 secs
Pace: 8:53 min/miles
Shoes: Asics Kayano XIII (203.42)
Weight: 173 lbs.
Calories burned: 525.5 kcal (857.9 kcal/hr)

Mile 1: 9:14
Mile 2: 8:41
Mile 3: 8:59
Mile 4: 8:43
0.14: 1:09

Sunny, brisk and dry. 49 degrees. Pain or no pain, it was too tempting not to run.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

8 Miles

40 Degrees! A little chilly to be ideal but almost perfect running weather. How long can we bask in this running nirvana? Right hip pain returned at mile 6. It seems I'll have to lay off running for about 2 weeks if I want to run at TIR and not embarass my team.

Mile 1: 9:40
Mile 2: 9:57
Mile 3: 9:27
Mile 4: 9:27
Mile 5: 9:26
Mile 6: 9:10
Mile 7: 9:36
Mile 8: 9:11

Time: 1 hr 15 min 57 secs
Pace: 9:30 min/miles
Shoes: Asics Kayano XIII (199.28)
Weight: 174 lbs.
Calories burned: 1020.4 kcal (806.1 kcal/hr)