Archives For postaday

Buff Me

December 9, 2013 — Leave a comment


I wore a new piece of “equipment” on this morning’s ccccold rrrride: a Reflective Buff.

On a morning like today, I probably could have used a more thermal version, but it did the trick with a skull cap added under my helmet.  Only my toesies were bit numb at the end of the ride.  I recently read about a “trick” to keep toes warm … I’ll try next ride.

From the looks of the forecast, I’ll be sportin’ the Buff for a few more days on my morning runs!


Training Journal – 12/9/12:

  • Current plan: ZRQL Marathon Training Plan – Taper Week 3 of 3
  • Today’s session: 20-mile ride
  • Comments: I rode for 1:19:50 for 22.2 miles @ 16.7 mph avg & avg cadence of 87 [Strava]

You Guys Need A GU?

December 8, 2013 — Leave a comment

Salt Cap?

What?  You’re good?  Oh, OK…just checkin’


Training Journal – 12/8/13:

  • Current plan: ZRQL Marathon Training Plan – Taper Week 2 of 3
  • Today’s session: 8-mile run
  • Comments: I did 10.5 miles @ 7:56 avg pace, avg cadence 99 & a run time of 1:23:05 [Strava]
  • Weekly mileage: Running: 34.6 / Bicycling: 29.1 – Total: 63.7
  • Current plan: ZRQL Marathon Training Plan – Taper Week 2 of 3
  • Today’s session: Rest
  • Comments: Rest
  • 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

Dark Day

December 5, 2013 — Leave a comment

A year ago today, my father-in-law and friend passed away.  We still wrestle with trying to understand how it happened so fast: a nice lunch and afternoon spent together, followed by a drive to the hospital on Sunday evening with concerns…and then he was gone on Wednesday morning.

His death certificate tells the “what” – nothing can tell the “why”…and that sucks.  It was too fast, with little to no interaction with him, as he was in a coma most of the time…even though he walked into the hospital himself.

The cherished memory – really one of the few gifts that mattered last Christmas – was the wonderful evening we were able to spend with him on Tuesday as he had regained consciousness.  My wife summed it up perfectly in a Facebook post yesterday:

A year ago tonight…you woke up…talked…kissed us…told us how much you loved us…
and then we said good night…

What she didn’t write was that we all laughed too – which was special.  We left him Tuesday night, so hopeful…then Wednesday came.

My father-in-law was a special man:  A very humble man.  A decorated, Korean War veteran.  A dedicated, 40+ year, Lockheed retiree with an impeccable work ethic and keen business sense.  A man who loved and revered God.  A husband, father, and friend who loved, led, and cared for those whom God had entrusted to him.

I’m was and still am angry about this whole thing.  All of it.  Just angry.

Come to think about it, I’m angry about the way in which both my fathers were tragically lost.  Again, with the “what” vs. “why” comparison…and the fact that it simply sucks.

It’s just a dark day.

Training Journal – 12/5/13:

  • Current plan: ZRQL Marathon Training Plan – Taper Week 2 of 3
  • Today’s session: 5-mile run
  • Comments: Another chilly morning: 30° at run time.  I did 5.4 miles @ 7:56 avg pace, avg cadence 99 & a run time of 42:49. [Strava].  For the first time in five months, I ran in non-Hoka One One shoes (I know this ’cause I track these things!)  It felt pretty good to wear my Saucony Type A5s!

Heavy Medals

December 4, 2013 — Leave a comment

I knew I’d be running two Rock ‘n’ Roll events this year (San Francisco and San Jose) and qualify for their Rock Encore Heavy Medal; but the third Rock ‘n’ Roll event (Philadelphia) just fell into place with a business trip, so it qualified me for their Triple Crown medal. WooHoo!


Training Journal – 12/4/13:

  • Current plan: ZRQL Marathon Training Plan – Taper Week 2 of 3
  • Today’s session: 5-mile run
  • Comments: Brrr…it was a chilly 34° this morning at run time!  I broke out the cold-weather gear and did 5.4 miles @ 7:53 avg pace, avg cadence 99 & a run time of 42:40. [Strava]

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]


On Thanksgiving, I ran the 10K distance at the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot. This was my third time running this annual event, which has become one of the largest timed Turkey Trots in the US. The event has several races, but the main events drew 11,823 finishers for the 5k and 7,509 for the 10k – by my calculations, 200 and 403 less than 2012 (respectively.)  Still, I great crowd of people!

The weather was perfect: just a touch of high clouds and cool (46 degrees at start time), with no wind. I wore shorts, but sported my arm warmers.  Doesn’t get any better than that!

courseThe course started at the intersection of Santa Clara and Market in downtown San Jose and made its way around downtown, out on the Alameda, near the edge of the Rose Garden neighborhood, then back toward downtown, finishing just east of the SAP Center.  It’s a flat course, unless one counts the train underpass near the SAP Center.

The post-race festival was great and very organized – tons of water, bananas, etc and staffed with quite a few volunteers.  I didn’t really stay too long. I grabbed a some SWAG, browsed quickly, picked up the requisite Sports Basement coupon, and then headed home.  Mission accomplished – the next mission awaited: PANCAKES!!!

My Race


  • Garmin time: 46:38 at an 7:23/mile pace [pace delta due to gps distance of 6.3]
  • Official time: 46:39 at an 7:31/mile pace
  • Standings: 1st among 3 10Ks
  • Strava



I’ll lay this right out there: My goal for the race was to set a new PR.  So, anything under 47:55 would be success.

To that end, I was all business for this one.  I got to the parking lot about an hour and a half early and just waited in my car keeping warm until about 40 minutes from start time.  My plan was to:

  • Stop by a porta potty
  • Take my “start line” photo
  • Do some warm up strides along a side street
  • Find a spot in the 7-8 minute per mile corral
  • Wait
  • Then GO!

Everything went according to plan…no deviations.  I was mission-minded…

My corral selection was made after learning from last year: In a large race like this, when allowed to self-seed, people go toward the front or to a corral that is faster than they are.  Last year, I observed that many of the people in the 7-8 corral probably should have been in the 9 minute and above corrals.  My plan: If I wanted to avoid weaving in and out of traffic and have a faster start and overall time, I needed to move up!  So, that is what I did – and I still ended up weaving around people…just not as much as it could have been if I seeded in the 8-9 minute corral, playing it safe.

For the first mile, I wanted to maintain at least an 8-minute pace to conserve my energy and allow for start line crowd weaving – yeah right.  Here’s how the race went down:

  • When the first mile beeped on my Garmin, it read a 7:30 average pace…gulp.  Don’t screw this up Dennis.  I knew that I needed to finish with better than a 7:43 pace overall, so that was where I wanted to stay close to on my pacing.
  • Mile 2 beep: 7:25.  Dennis, DO NOT screw this up.
  • Mile 3 beep: 7:27.  Dennis, half way there, you can back off just a bit – don’t blow this.
  • Mile 4 beep: 7:27.  OK, I’m pacing OK and am not really tiring.  Keep it going – keep it steady.
  • Mile 5 beep: 7:29.  OK, still in control…still feeling good…still under 7:43.  Feel free to kick it if you can!
  • Mile 6 beep: 7:14.  WEEEEEEEEEE!
  • Finish line: 46:38.  BOOYAH!!!!

Mission accomplished – a new PR…by 1:16!  GOBBLE, GOBBLE!

Pre-race & race-day fuel: I didn’t do any specific, pre-race carb loading. I just followed my normal fat/carb/protein ratio goals leading up to the race, didn’t eat anything ahead of the race, and ate a GU  and took a salt cap before the race.  As far as liquids, I have been training the past month to run six to seven miles without fluids.  I usually carry a water bottle when I run, but didn’t this time, since I felt comfortable without it at shorter distances.  My plan was to grab a water, if I needed it, at one of the aid stations.  I didn’t need it, so I was glad I left the handheld at home.


  • Bottom line: A new 10K PR – ‘nuf said!  OK, I’m also, very happy with my placing…even though I race against myself.
  • Post-race meal: Short stack of buttermilk pancakes and two scrambled eggs!


Training Journal – 12/2/12:

  • Current plan: ZRQL Marathon Training Plan – Taper Week 2 of 3
  • Today’s session: 20-mile ride
  • Comments: I rode for 1:22:01 for 23.3 miles @ 17.1 mph avg & avg cadence of 84 [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


November 30, 2013 — Leave a comment


Two weeks from today, I will run my third marathon.

That weekend will also be the first anniversary of my first marathon.

It was a great day and I learned a ton: especially that Salt Stick caps rock.

One cool thing is that I drive by the 5.7 to 6.5 and 18.8 to 19.6 sections of that two-loop, marathon course each day when I drive to work.  The first section was at a comfortable 8:34 pace…the second was a grueling, cramps-in-both-calves, when-will-this-end, what-did-I-get-myself-into, 13:00+ pace.  I eventually recovered – due to said Salt Stick caps – and finished with a respectable 4:05:05 time.  Every morning, driving by that section of 101 is a reminder of my first 26.2, my love of running, and to never “long run” without Salt Stick caps.

I saw this tweet this morning – WOW:

Training Journal – 11/30/13:

  • Current plan: ZRQL Marathon Training Plan – Taper Week 1 of 3
  • Today’s session: Rest
  • Comments: Rest