Archives For Fitness

Unless you’re a runner* – in which case, they are completely related…


…though a mashup is probably appropriate:


Have a great weekend!

*or cyclist, duathlete, triathlete, etc.

February: A solid month of training for March’s South Bay Duathlon – which means a little more riding…a little less running.  I’ll be honest, I like cycling, but not as much as running.  That said, I do know that mixing in cycling sessions does have its benefits to a runner; so even after the DU, I’ll keep cycling on the training plan.

I’m looking forward to the duathlon, though I am a bit nervous: it’s my first multisport event.  I’m confident at the two disciplines; however, the transitions are making me nervous as the event gets closer.  It’s mainly the act of moving about in my cycling shoes.  We’ll see how it goes, but my main goal is to have fun.  OK, I won’t lie – do have a time goal as well!  As of now, this is my only multisport this year, as there aren’t too many duathlons in the area.  So it will be “go for broke” on Saturday!

No biz trips this past month – WooHoo!


  • HIGH: New half marathon PR!!!
  • LOW: It was a great month…nothing really to consider a “low” – except maybe a tumble I took on a run one morning…

As far as new equipment & such:

  • Altra Instinct 1.5 shoes. This is my third pair of Altra shoes, having added their 3-Sum and Lone Peak models in my rotation over the past few months – and really loving them.  I picked these up at Sports Basement for $50, so it was a great deal.  Technically, I only got one run in the Instincts in this month, so I don’t have too much to write about at this point.  I did like the feel on the 9-mile run I did in them.  I will share more about them soon, but early impression is great.
  • Ultimate Direction SJ Ultra Vest 2.0.  With some 50Ks on the calendar later this year, I wanted to try this option for schlepping stuff like fluids, fuel, etc.  I’ve read quite a bit about vests and went with the UD SJ v2.0.  I only have one run wearing this, so I will postpone a detailed review.  I will say that after the first run (a 10-miler), I really liked it.  I did not have any issues with chaffing or not being able to get the bottles out/access the front or side pockets.  I did notice some stiffness in my back after the run; but that is probably from having weight on my chest (water bottles) vs. carrying the handhelds and probably eases after repeated use.  More to follow on this great product, but early impression is great.

With that, here are the February 2014 stats:


Training Program(s):

  • Duathlon-focused plan for the South Bay Duathlon (international distance) on March 8.  The plan is a mix of bike, run, BRick, and duathlon (R/B/R) sessions, keeping the rest day on Saturday.


Races/Rides Completed:

  • 2/2: Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon [report]
  • Race Count: Month: 1 / YTD: 2 / Lifetime: 43

    • 5k: 0 / 0 / 7
    • 10k: 0 / 0 / 3
    • Half Marathon: 1 / 2 / 22
    • Marathon: 0 / 0 / 3
    • 50K: 0 / 0 / 1
    • Other: 0 / 0 / 7
  • Ride Count: Month: 0 / YTD: 0 / Lifetime: 1
    • Century: 0 / 0 / 1



February 23, 2014 — Leave a comment


A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about putting trail runs on hold while I train for a duathlon I’m doing next month. Well, that lasted two weeks…

I decided to do the run segment of this morning’s 20/10 BRick as an out-and-back to Alum Rock (STRAVA: Ride / Run.] I knew I’d sacrifice time on the transition (putting on trail shoes vs. my tri shoes, etc.), but getting back on the trail was worth it. The weather was wonderful this morning.

20140223-133501.jpgI also wanted to do a maiden run with a new piece of equipment: an Ultimate Direction Scott Jurek Ultra Vest, v2.0.  I’m getting equipped for a few 50Ks later this year…hehe!  It went pretty well and I’m glad I went with a size medium. I need to make a few minor adjustments on the fit and it will be great. My back was a little sore from carrying the water up front; but, I think after a few more runs, I’ll get accustomed to it.  It was a nice change from carrying a handheld.

I also may experiment with some different bottle types: my Amphipod 20oz handheld or Hydrapak Soft Flasks. The UD bottles were OK, but I’ve read some good things about replacing them the soft flasks on a few blogs.

Anyway, hope y’all had great weekends.


Smiley Knee

February 14, 2014 — 2 Comments


During ride 1 of this morning’s 4/6/4 duathlon workout (specifically at about mile 3.62), a curb suddenly jumped up, causing me to trip and skid slightly on the (thankfully) wet sidewalk.  I’ve run this route many, many times without incident from said curb, so I am quite puzzled as to why he (or she) decided to be, frankly, a jerk.

The upshot is that I now have what looks to be a smiley face on my knee…though it also looks like the guy has a hickey on his neck.

OK, the other upshot was that because I run so early (this probably happened at about 4:40,) no one was around to see.

Of course I jumped up, ran the final .38 of R1 (doing a “systems” check), and continued with the rest of the workout!

Have a great weekend!

Wow…one month already done in the 2014 book!  Where did it go?

January was a solid month of training and a great start to what I hope is a great year of running…with a little bicycling scattered in as well.  At this point, and after doing some evaluation of time and (quite frankly) desire, I just don’t think I can fit swimming into the training/racing picture (read: no triathlons yet.)  I’m having a hard enough time working bicycling in – I just like running too much! Maybe I’ll have time/desire for “aqua” next year.  As much as I’d like to, in reality and with total honesty, it’s just not the right time.  Someday…

I had one biz trip this month out to the Washington D.C. area and was able to stay on track with my training (trust me, I was prepared to run in the rain, snow, or whatever.)  It worked out great as I was there in between snowy weather and ended up logging 33 miles in four runs, including two WDC sightseeing run tours (one, two.)

I also put the final touches on my 2014 race schedule, setting some pretty good goals that are achievable yet challenging.  I’ll probably do a post on the schedule at some point once things firm up a bit.


  • HIGH: Signed up for Strava’s Prove It – Run (100K) challenge and ended up with 315K
  • LOW: It was a good month…nothing really to consider a “low”

As far as new equipment & such:

  • New Balance High Visibility Beacon Jacket. While not technically new (I received this back in October when I was selected as a winner in the New Balance/ Runnovation contest), it stayed in the box until I was packing for my trip to DC.  There was a chance of rain there and the temps in the AM were forecasted to be cool, so I packed it as an option; deciding that if I did wear it, I would wear a short-sleeve tech shirt underneath to prevent getting too hot.  This jacket is excellent!  The high-vis aspect is awesome and really functions as advertised – this bad boy glowed for my entire 13.2 run and probably most the rest of the day on a 15-minute “charge.”  As for comfort, I really liked it too, it chaffed a bit on my neck the first day, but a little Glide in the right spot solved that.  (I got the jacket in a large and probably should have gotten a medium, which could have contributed to the chaffing.)  I usually get pretty warm when I run and rarely wear a jacket unless it’s raining – and even then, it usually is my The North Face Better Than Naked, lightweight jacket.  So I did stick to my planned, short-sleeve tech shirt and the jacket as was comfortable in the 44, 34, and 39 degree runs I did wearing it.  Great product, though I’m torn between it and my North Face jacket…
  • Altra Lone Peak 1.5 shoes. This is my second pair of Altra shoes, having added their 3-Sum shoes into my road rotation last month.  My Hoka One One Stinson EVOs were at the 240-mile mark, so I decided to give these a try.  After consulting a few blogs and Altra’s customer service on sizing, I placed my order and have now put 31 miles on my Lone Peaks over two runs.  I have to say, I really am liking them.  I up-sized a full size and am happy with that decision.  I’m still getting used to the zero-drop feel (though I now have about 97 miles on my 3-Sums), but am adjusting well.  I probably will do a shoe review post once I have more miles on these.  Since I am only really able to do trail runs on weekends, that might be a month or two.  Bottom line: I’m liking them!

With that, here are my training stats for January 2014…

Continue Reading…

Hmmmm, how to display my 2013 training stats in an epic way….a mega INFOGRAPHIC!

This pup has taken numerous lunchtimes, a few evenings, an extended layover at DFW, and a few more evenings in hotel rooms this week.  It was great remembering and reliving some of last year as I gathered the data and worked on this project.

My numbers may pale in comparison to some, but they are mine…and that is what we all should focus on: our numbers, not other people’s.

These were hard earned, yet fun.  Mostly enjoyable, with a dash of difficult, and a hint of pain.  For certain, 2013 was a great second full year of running, with a decent intro to cycling.  Here’s to celebrating 2013 and anticipating what lies ahead in 2014.


December 2013: A month that took forever to get here and seemed to just blow by!


  • HIGH: Gritted out my third marathon!
  • LOW: Ran my third marathon like a half and fueled it like a 10K; thus, a PR was missed/squandered.

As far as new equipment & such:

  • Buff.  I am not a viewer of the Survivor TV show, but knew about Buffs from watching a few episodes.  This month, I bought a couple of Buffs to try them and really like them.  Like them enough that I now have four in my drawer: two Polar Reversible, a Reflective Buff, and a Visor Buff.  I’ve worn the Polar and Reflective on my runs and rides and really have appreciated them in the cool weather.  I have mainly worn them as a cap on runs and a hood on my rides.  Wearing as a balaclava while exercising seems to result in overheating – but that might just be me.
  • Altra 3-Sum shoes.  I was at the point mileage-wise in my road shoe inventory that I needed to get a new pair.  I had been reading a lot of good things about Altra Zero Drop shoes and, after some web research and a chat with Altra Customer Service, placed my order!  I went with the 3-Sum, since I will be doing a duathlon in March 2014.  After this morning’s run, I have 58 miles on them and really like the way they fit and feel on a run.  I may write a review at some point – maybe at the 100-mile mark.

With that, here are the stats for the month that was December 2013.
Continue Reading…

  • Current plan: ZRQL Marathon Training Plan – Taper Week 2 of 3
  • Today’s session: 4/5/3 DU
  • Comments:

    • RUN 1: 4 miles @ 8:15 avg pace, avg cadence 98. TIME: 33:08 [Strava]
    • TRANSITION: 1:59 min
    • BIKE: 5.8 miles @ 17.1 mph avg, avg cadence 89. TIME: 20:16 [Strava]
    • TRANSITION: 1:59 min
    • RUN 2: 3.1 miles @ 7:50 avg pace, avg cadence 100. TIME: 24:35 [Strava]
    • TOTALS: Distance: 11.9 miles, Time: 1:21:57

Ah November, back to a run-focused training plan and getting my run-base back. I do miss riding as much as I was during September and October, but I’m a runner and enjoyed this month’s training.

No business trips this month – which was AWESOME!


  • HIGH: Two this month: I set a new 10K PR…by 1:16!  I also did two trail runs!!
  • LOW: I caught a cold at the beginning of the month, but I only needed to take two days off training. It held on for a while longer, but I kept going…

As far as new equipment & such, none this month.  I did try a new snack bar this month, which came in my Stride Box.  It’s called “That’s it.” and they are great.  They only have two ingredients: “fruit and fruit!” (with apple being the consistent ingredient) and are 100 calories each.  I have not tried all the flavors, but did order a sampler pack – so far, my fav is the apple and cherry.  Check ’em out.

With that, here are the stats for the month that was November 2013.


Training Program(s):

  • Back to a run-focused program in preparation for a December marathon. The plan is: riding on Mondays, running Tuesday-Thursday, doing a run/bike combination workout on Fridays, and a long run on Sundays.  Saturday is usually a rest day, unless there is a race or a needed shakeout run.


Races/Rides Completed:

  • 11/3: US Half Half Marathon [report]
  • 11/28: Silicon Valley Turkey Trot 10K [report]
  • Race Count: Month: 2 / YTD: 13 / Lifetime: 39
    • 5k: 0 / 0 / 7
    • 10k: 1 / 1 / 3
    • Half Marathon: 1 / 10 / 19
    • Marathon: 0 / 1 / 2
    • 50K: 0 / 1 / 1
    • Other: 0 / 0 / 7
  • Ride Count: Month: 0 / YTD: 1 / Lifetime: 1
    • Century: 0 / 1 / 1


Training Journal – 12/3/13:

  • Current plan: ZRQL Marathon Training Plan – Taper Week 2 of 3
  • Today’s session: 5-mile run
  • Comments: I did 6.2 miles @ 7:56 avg pace, avg cadence 97 & a run time of 49:24. [Strava]

Four-Day Weekend Stats

December 1, 2013 — Leave a comment
  • Set a new 10K PR at the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot – by 1:16!  Race report coming later this week.
  • Did a nice, 9-mile, recovery trail run on Friday.
  • Had an awesome lunch date with my wife on Friday…then did some Black Friday shopping: online and at a couple of brick and mortars.
  • Slept in on Saturday and rested…aaaand did a bit more shopping.
  • Enjoyed a very nice 13-mile tempo road run this morning.
  • Had pancakes three times over the four days!
  • Ate a total of five pieces of pumpkin pie!
  • Renewed my love for Starbucks’ Birthday Cake Pops by partaking in two over the course of the four days…
  • Best of all, no net weight gain as of this AM – BOOYAH!

I needed this weekend…this coming week will be tough for my wife, mother-in-law, and me.  I’m ready for it to be over already…

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving Holiday!

Training Journal – 12/1/13:

  • Current plan: ZRQL Marathon Training Plan – Taper Week 1 of 3
  • Today’s session: 12-mile long run
  • Comments: I did 13.4 miles @ 8:11 avg pace, & a run time of 1:49:52 [Strava]
  • Weekly mileage: Running: 37.6 / Bicycling: 22.5 – Total: 60.1