Tuesday, April 2, 2013

I'm not going to mention that it's been a long time since I've posted

Blogger wedding

I went to the wedding of a couple of friends of mine from a running group. http://notenoughlaura.blogspot.com/ and http://justenoughcraig.blogspot.com/ are now married. They should probably combine their blogs, too. Leave name suggestions in the comments below.
The wedding was a blast. There was a uniquely Southern moment when all of the women were drinking beer with their legs in a baby pool while the men sat under a ramada. It was a beautiful day for an Arizona wedding.
Class? Yeah we got that.

Bunnies, Coyotes, and Javalina, oh my!

One of the cooler things about living in Arizona (get it? cooler!?!) is the wildlife.

  • For about 2 weeks we had a little screech owl living in the roof life of my house. My oldest daughter named the owl "Sacha", and we'd say hi every night after dinner.

Majestic and tiny, an uncommon combination


  • We also have 10s of cotton tail bunnies that roam our yard at dawn.
  • Hunting the bunnies are coyotes which prowl the wash behind our fence.
  • My wife snapped a photo of a damn bobcat casually strolling down the jogging path behind my house.
  • I added the circle; we don't have a real circle in our fence
  • The newest addition to our furry, neighborhood menagerie is a family of javalina, AKA Peccary. Basically, they are little boars, big pigs, but actually related to deer.

Tough little bugger is chewing on a live cactus
Here's a (creepy) video of the encounter. 

Eating clean

I'm typing this at lunch time, and this really is what I'm eating today. I'm feeling a healthy mix shame and pride that MUST be unique to America.
I'm drinking diet, so I don't get fat.

Buy my shit

If you've enjoyed this blog post, please send me $2 via your mobile app store. Don't forget that Virtual Run Coach is available in the App Store for iPhone, iPad, and now Android via Google Play. That's right folks, Adam, AKA The Boring Runner, has completed Virtual Run Coach for Android.
Download it now, before it sells out!






Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ragnar Relay Race Report

A few months ago, I posted on this very page, that I would use my app (go buy it) to train for a half marathon. Shortly after that post, I was invited to fill in for a runner who dropped off a Ragnar team.
Ragnar is a 200-ish mile relay run from Wickenburg, AZ, to Tempe. I was on a 12-person team, a fun if not  fast group.
I wasn't well prepared to race as my training had been interrupted by work travel, dental surgery, and a general lack of give-a-shit. All excuses aside, the relay went great.

Run 1

Ragnar involves 3 runs for each runner. The first leg is always a fun time; mine was 7 miles at 5pm Friday night. For me it was my first run in weeks. I was super rested and ready to rock. I went out a lot faster than I expected, and I managed to pick off a few runners in front of me. I probably went out too fast.
People were in costumes, and acting rowdy. I love Ragnar.

Run 2

Classy marketing
I rested in the van for a few hours, and stopped at Chili's for a meal. That was a horrible mistake. I tried to nap in the van after eating, but the greasy quesadilla had me on the edge of puking. I managed to get 30 minutes of sleep before the phone rang, "it's time to run."
I ran 4.3 miles at 3am. It's hard to describe how it feels to run in the middle of the night on no sleep.
I had lots of free time during Ragnar, which is rare for me these days. I took opportunity to hand out fliers for Virtual Run Coach.

Run 3

My third leg is hard.
I was really worried about the last leg; each prior year this has been the most painful run of the weekend. Fortunately, this year my last run was an scenic jog through beautiful North Scottsdale. It was a beautiful day, and I felt pretty darn good, considering.

The finish line was a sham. I only ran like 100 feet.

Can you find me? Hint: I'm not hairy

What's next?

Shit I don't know what's next. Don't pressure me! A bunch of people at my gym ran a Tough Mudder, and that sounds like a fun time. Maybe that's an option, or maybe I'll stop running and take up competitive eating. Suggestions?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Virtual Run Coach

Let me train you (sort of)

In my all years racing endurance events I've tried a few methods of training:

1. Self coached

This is the most common method among people I know. Basically, I would run 3 miles on weekdays when I thought of it. On the weekend, I'd run "long", increasing distance by 10% each week until I get platnar faciitis and stop running for two weeks. 
Cost: Free because I made it up as I went along

2. Book coached

This is how I trained for Ironman Arizona 2010. I bought a book and followed the plan the author provided. 
Cost: $30 book

3. Coach coached

When training for Ironman Coeur d'Alene 2012, I hired a real coach. She was great; she emailed me detailed plans for me every day up to the race. 
Cost: $75/month for 7 months = $525 (ouch!)

4. Virtual Coach

More than 100 unique plans
Next week I begin a 4th and possibly awesome-est training method: Virtual Coach. I enter my race details:
Date: March 10
Distance: Half marathon
Training level: Beginner
Current weekly run total: 5 miles (oops, I'm lame)
At this point, I can configure the app to remind me on days when I need to run with a popup notification. Now I've got a 12 week plan that will get me to the starting line prepared.
Cost $1.99, not bad!

I haven't run in 6 months. I've been doing a lot of lifting and CrossFit, so this'll be an experiment. I'll use Virtual Run Coach for my plan and to log miles. The logging is pretty sweet, even has nice graphs. 
Now I just have to do it.
These aren't my miles, that's for sure!
If I were you (I'm not; I just checked) I'd download this app and follow along!



Note: I wrote this app, with my bare hands, by candle light. So this is an advertisement. Deal with it. 
Quit being a cheapskate and buy it. Then tell 10 other people to buy it. If you don't buy it, your next race won't go well. That's not a threat; you're just paranoid.

Update: The internet knows about us! Check out my first review: http://www.genesoboleski.blogspot.com/2012/12/virtual-review-of-virtual-running-coach.html

Monday, October 8, 2012

How to Vote II, return of the electorate

I wrote a voting guide two years ago, and it was a hit. Back by popular demand, here is your 2012 Arizona voting guide. If you're from another state I don't care about you. There, I said it.

Proposition 114 - Prohibits crime victims from being subject to a claim for damages for causing death or injury
Victims rights is something we can all agree on, right? Well, maybe not:  
"Obviously, I don't think anybody committing a crime should be able to sue their victim." However, Campbell said that the broad wording of the measure could lead to situations where civil immunity would be granted to a person who shoots an alleged criminal in the back
Home-girl makes a good point. Vote no for new laws that may have unintended consequences. Let's do that more often, America.

Proposition 115 - Relating to the modification of the Appellate and Trial Court Commissions
I don't understand this, and neither do you. This is a great time to bring up the prime directive of proposition voting: If you don't understand it, vote no. If everyone did this, there'd be much fewer problems. 

Proposition 116 - Give tax break to business with newly acquired equipment
Newly acquired equipment sounds a lot like capital expenditures, which are deductible on federal taxes. This law applies to local property taxes. Is that double dipping, perhaps, but vote yes anyway. Let's encourage businesses to buy more equipment.

Only property owners can vote, right?
Proposition 117 - Limit annual growth in limited property value of locally assessed properties
I own property (which is why I'm allowed to vote,) so this one hits home. Some say we're on the verge of another real estate bubble caused by investors buying up foreclosed properties for rentals. I assume this proposition would limit how much Charles 'Hos' Hoskins can raise my property taxes each year. The opposition doesn't really have a good argument, they just be hating. Forget the haters, vote yes.

Proposition 118 - Yearly Permanent Fund distribution be 2.5% of monthly market values of the fund from 5 previous years
Good lord, what? I don't understand this at all. Vote no.

Proposition 119 - Lets legislature to enact a process to exchange trust land if related to protecting military installations
USA! USA! USA! Vote yes.

Proposition 120 - Would declare state sovereignty over state natural resources based on the argument of "equal footing"
This sneaky prop is a vehicle for a State vs Feds battle royale. Arizona is asserting it's ownership of lands despite concerns of the Clean Air Act, Endangered Species, Clean Water Act, and other scary words. Get ready for hippies with lawyers in full rage mode if this one passes. Vote yes for maximum entertainment. 

Proposition 121 - Implement a top-two style open primary system
Arizona is a very Republican state. Often the real election is the Republican primary and the General election is a formality. This proposition would basically push Democrats out of the whole contest. While that sounds fun, it's probably a bad idea. Vote no.

Proposition 204 - Would renew the sales tax increase approved in 2010
Renew might be the wrong word here. This measure actually makes the tax increase permanent. There's a soft rule in politics, no new tax ever goes away. I hate soft rules. Prove it wrong, and vote no.

This funny photo was phoned in. Sorry.
If you made it this far into the post, you're doing better than me. I stopped reading after the second proposition. 

Disclaimer, I barely researched any of this, and I'm marginally educated. That said, I'm printing this out and bringing it to the polls, and so should you. Ctrl-P for the win!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Crossfit and puking

Recovered

It's been 2 weeks since Ironman, but it feels more like a month. I am a million miles away from triathlon right now. During peak training for Ironman I burned out pretty bad, and I made myself a promise that I'd take a break from triathlon after this race. That promise got me through the last couple of months of long rides and runs.

What's Next

Making good on my self-promise of something different led me to a local Crossfit gym. These guys promise variety, strength training, and short shorts.
I need a ponytail and shorter shorts
I want apologize for using the image above. I KNOW it's the most used gif in the world, but I still love it. Go fuck yourself you judgy prick. It's my birthday; I can reuse whatever image I want.

 Day 1

I went to a free session to check out the gym. "gym"  Yeah, this was an open bay in a warehouse full of weights, racks, and other gym paraphernalia. It was 110° F during the workout, and we were sweating. The workout was 50 thrusters for time.
Yes, this is not me. We slowed down the video for your weak eyes.

If you needed to put the bar down you had to do 50 meters of lunges (in the sun) before catching your breath. Here's how it went:
  • 11 thrusters (65 lbs for me), 50m lunges (in the damn sun), stand and try not to puke for a minute
  • 11 thrusters, 50m lunges, stand there and try not to puke for a minute
  • ...and so on until I finished... 25:31 later. 

Sicko

That was Friday afternoon. By Sunday I was still sore as HELL. It turns out I haven't been using my thruster muscles, so they are unaccustomed to all of the attention. To celebrate three days of DOMS I grilled some turkey burgers. Apparently I licked the raw meat before I put it on the grill, because I woke up Monday morning with a serious case of the pukies. Now I'm BACK to Ironman race weight, and I feel about as good as I did post race.
I haven't been back for Crossfit: Day 2 yet, but I'm hoping that's tomorrow. Here's wishing me luck on my second recovery in 2 weeks.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Ironman, Coeur d’Alene 2012

Getting to the start line

Most of the stress of race week was getting my kids to Idaho and making it to athlete check-in before it closed. We managed to get there with an entire hour to spare. Awesome.
WP_000330
Fact: Kids love airports
 
I made a short list of stuff I needed to pack for the race. This doesn’t include my clothes/toiletries for the rest of the 8-day trip. As you can see from my manifest, triathlon is a stupidly complex sport. No one should have a hobby that involves making lists like this.
WP_000328
That's right, crack pipe
Runners don’t do this. Here is a runner’s race list:
  • Shoes
  • Skinny legs
  • Bad hair
For what it’s worth, our hotel was entirely too pimp for this player. We had a killer view of the swim course, and for that matter, most of Lake Coeur d’Alene. The extra money you pay for a view is TOTALLY worth it. This particular view came with a remote control that opened the wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows. The bed faced those windows. There is no better way to wake up.
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Creepy little toddler

The actual race parts

Here’s a picture I snapped on race morning at 5am, when transition opened and only a few athletes are up and around. The lake was glassy and the sky was rumbly. Those 2 would reverse within an hour of the start.
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The boxing ring

The swim start involves 2500 people running down the beach and into the water. That sounds like a lot of people, and it is. Here’s how it breaks down:
  • 1000 start breaststroke immediately and freak out. Dodge these people and their wide frog kicks. They are destined for hypothermia, the warming tent, and a rectal thermometer.
  • 200 punch me in the kidneys and push my legs down. The cold water leads to tight back muscles, which are easily strained. Unrelated, I pulled a back muscle on the swim.
  • 3 women had an item on their list that I did not: long finger nails. They scratch. Avoid, or end up with claw marks.
  • 1 guy, me, not being careful catches a heel to the jaw, which still has a metal plate holding it together. I thought I was done. I was happy with my 5-minute effort, and was about to go back to bed. Then I tested out my bite, and decided it wasn’t broken. I raced on, for another 12 hours.
I’m being totally cereal right now, you guys. That mass swim was the most violent that I’ve ever participated in. There is no reason to grasp onto people when you swim. We are all quite smooth and slippery in wetsuits. Just glide past people, no need to attack.
The bike was fine. My back hurt from the Greco-Roman, but it wasn’t a big deal.
I exited T2 at 2:30 PM. That means I had 4 hours to to finish in 11:30. My goal was a 4 hour marathon, so I honestly though I’d do it. The first mile is uphill, and that’s when shit got dark. This 2-loop run course has a BAD hill that you climb, descend and then climb again, each loop.
My goals kept changing:
  • 11:30, if I can average 9:10/mile
  • 11:45, if I walk the aid stations
  • 12:00 if I walk 1 minute of each mile, and some extra on the hills
At the final turnaround, I calculated “6.6 miles in 1:08:00 to make 12:00 finish.” That was enough to get me going. I trudged along, looking down at the road. I pulled my hat down so I couldn’t see the climbs. I closed my eyes for long stretches. I think I fell asleep (blacked out?) at one point.
The final half-mile is downhill, and it’s got to be the best finish in all of Ironman. The street is lined with people cheering. I looked up and saw 11:55 on the clock when I finished. That’s 1 painful minute faster than my Ironman Arizona time in 2010.

Analysis

I enjoyed the run at IM Arizona. This race was NOT fun. It was hard, very rewarding, but I was in the pain cave from mile 2 to mile 26. It was one long nightmare.
The real success at this race with transitions. I cut out 8 minutes of screwing-around time in transition from my first Ironman race.

Getting home

We spent a week messing around in Idaho after the race. Northern Idaho is some of the most beautiful country I’ve ever been to. The people are great, and the forests are just spectacular.
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My girls!

I was pulled aside at the airport for further screening. When the TSA opened my gear bag they recoiled in disgust. It turns out I shoved everything from the race into a plastic bag the night of the race and left it in there for a week. Oops!
  • Wetsuit, definitely peed in, still wet
  • Bike shorts and jersey, wet
  • Bike shoes, may have been peed on
  • Running shorts and t-shirt, very wet
  • Bottle of Gatorade, open and spilled
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The wite/orange bag contains the nastiest nasty ever
All of that nasty had been sealed tight and fermenting for a week. The TSA picked it all out and determined it was only a threat to my family. They gave it all back to me and started to wipe down the entire table and floor at the security check point.
All of that is true.
Now I’m home and rested, mostly recovered. (Actually I’m on a plane, traveling for work. I lie to you all the time, so it’s fine.) I’m not sure what’s next for me, but I don’t want to go for any long bike rides for a while.
Here is a more technical race report, if you're into that sort of thing.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Six days to go

Travel week

This week is a perfect week for taper. Work is keeping me busy; I've got a new toy; and I really don't feel like training. That's a perfect combination for a light training week. Six days from right now I'll be hopefully off the bike and running through beautiful Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
That's what a paycheck looks like.

Swimming fun

I spent months searching for a masters swim group that I could join to train this season. I believe a swimmer gets better when pushed by a group, as compared to solo swimming. Also, I don't really enjoy solo training. After 6 months of futile searching and solo swimming, I finally figured it out. I've been swimming the last 2 weeks with a friend, my wife's friend's husband actually. Now that I think of it, most of my friends are married to my wife's friends. Anyway, he and I really push each other in the pool, and we're both killing it out there. The moral of the story is, don't think you know what your solution looks like; it might be right in front of you, married to your wife's friend. ...or something like that.

I'll do my best to take pics in Idaho. The post race pics will probably be from ground-level perspective. Until, next week!