Today’s Daily Dose of Idiocy: 6 “Californias”

July 15, 2014 |  by  |  California  |  No Comments

Some Silicon Valley dummy wants to divide the state of California up into six separate states.

One of the things that bugs me is that this Silicon Valley tech investor basically divided up the richest parts of Northern California (Silicon Valley, San Jose, the entire Monterey Bay, San Francisco, Oakland) and then randomly drew lines on a map to divide up the rest of the states.

Why is Orange County lumped in with Imperial County, San Bernadino and San Diego? Why is Santa Barbara part of the state with Los Angeles? Besides the fact that some of these counties touch each other on a map, there is no other obvious relationship.



The part that bothers me the most is that they actually got enough signatures to put this on the ballot and that people are wasting state resources on this.

Colorado Corporate Challenge 10k Recap

July 9, 2014 |  by  |  Running  |  1 Comment

This race came out of nowhere; a couple weeks ago (a week before the race), a couple coworkers and I saw this race listed in an email somewhere and on a whim, decided to sign up for the race. The race was the “Colorado Corporate Challenge”, part of the Heart & Sole Half-Marathon/10k race. Teams of 3 or more runners compete to be the fastest in Colorado (but really, probably “just” the fastest in the Boulder area.)  One of my coworkers is really fast (former University of Northern Colorado collegiate runner) while my coworker and I are both average runners, so we were just doing it for fun rather than trying to realistically win anything.


Based on my BolderBoulder race day experiences, I was expecting Pearl St. in Boulder to be jam packed and full of people. I was pleased to find that the streets were mostly empty and there was ample parking everywhere…probably because this race is 1/50 the size of the BolderBoulder. That’s a good thing! Mega races are fun sometimes because of all the energy from the crowd/runners are fun, but smaller races like this are just so much less stressful.

Since there was a half-marathon option for the day, there was a good spread of vendors as well as nutrition and water stations in the expo area before the race. My only major complaint about the race was the fact that the lines for the port-a-potty were long and not well managed; I was just able to use the port-a-potty before the race started, so I didn’t get a warm-up run in nor was I able to take my last few sips of water before the race started.

The Race


I didn’t have much pre-race nutrition beyond a few Jelly Belly SportBeans. And since I was rushed, I didn’t get to drink any last minute water before the race started. The course started on an incline over the first mile and a half, and coupled with the morning heat and humidity, I wasn’t feeling great. Right at about the 1.5 mile marker, the steady 2-mile decline started. At about 2 miles into the race, I saw my boss running with his wife (they were doing the 2-lap half marathon), so I tagged along with them for about a mile or so, which helped me take my mind off the race. The next 1.5 miles were uphill again, so my pace tailed off again, but I was able to finish the race strong.


Sorry for stealing your picture,, but this was too good to pass up.

During the last half-mile or so of the race, I caught up to someone training for the Boulder Ironman and talked to him for a little bit. He ran four miles before the half-marathon and planned on running another seven miles afterwards. What an animal! I almost felt embarrassed to tell him that I was/am considering dropping down to the Spring-distance for my next triathlon.

My chip time was 55:26, two and a half minutes slower than my BolderBoulder PR. That put me at a ~8’55″ pace, which I was still happy with (in my world, anything under a 9-minute mile is a good pace!) No negative split this race and my pacing was all over the place, but oh well!


Me post-race

Me post-race in my short shorts glory.

A view of the finish line

A view of the finish line

Team Coalfire finished 7 out of 15 teams, but considering our 1st place “competitors” averaged 48:00 finish times, I’m not complaining. After cooling down, the team and I caught the half-marathon finishers from the rooftop of the Lazy Dog while drinking a “refreshing” Avery IPA and then we headed our separate ways.

BolderBoulder 2014 Recap

June 23, 2014 |  by  |  Running  |  No Comments

(This one is almost a month old, sorry!)

To cap off the best weekend ever (Sara saying yes!), I ran the BolderBoulder 10K on Memorial Day.



My past experience running the BolderBoulder made me cognizant of the terrible traffic and parking conditions in Boulder on race day. I decided to take advantage of the bevvy of public transportation options and took the RTD from Broomfield with Sara.

We timed it so we got there about an hour before my wave (Wave E) left, which was the perfect amount of time for me. I was able to take a couple port-a-potty breaks, drink some water, do some dynamic stretching and take a little pre-race nutrition (Jelly Belly Sport Beans) without feeling rushed at all.

It was a little windy before the race started, but not uncomfortable enough to make me wish I had brought a jacket.

The Race

For a race that supports 55,000 participants, the BolderBoulder was extraordinarily well-run! The majority of the races I participate in seem to always have delays, but every single BolderBoulder wave left at the exact second they were scheduled for. I ran with the E wave, for runners expecting to finish in 53:36 – 54:15 (8:37/mile – 8:43/mile), which I qualified for with my Surf City Half Marathon time.

I kicked off my race exactly at 7:15:30 AM. Out the gates, I felt like I was going way too fast. I didn’t do any warmup running before the race, so my legs felt tight the first 15 minutes. I got swept up in the euphoria of the cheering crowds and kept up the speed of the wave. I ignored my GPS watch for the most part the first couple of miles, but I knew I was running too fast and needed to slow down.

After my first couple of miles, my legs loosened up and I was feeling great. I decided not to slow down and just go for it until I really had to. I started looking down at my watch at around mile 4 and I realized that I could finish under 54 minutes if I kept up my pace.

I charged the last hill on the approach to Folsom Field (all that hilly Arvada running is paying off!) and played the “glance frequently at your GPS watch but don’t trip” game on my stretch to the finish. After I crossed the finish line, I checked my watch and I PRed! My old PR was also at the 2011 Fans on the Field 10K, with a time of 56:17. My previous course record (and only other time participating) is 56:49 at the 2012 BolderBoulder. Glad all my extra running is paying off!


When I train for longer distance races, I normally don’t take any nutrition (water, gels, etc.) for runs of 7 miles or less, so I didn’t prepare for any in-race nutrition. Pre-race, I chomped on some caffeinated Jelly Belly SportBeanz to get some caffeine into my system and sipped on some water.

During the race, I ended up taking water at miles 3 and 5. It was a sunny morning and I was sweating a lot more than I expected. This probably slowed me down 15 seconds total since I still haven’t mastered the art of sucking down water while running, but luckily that wasn’t the difference between 52:00 and 53:00.


Chip time: 52:58:00 (PR)

116 out of 439 in my division
4405 out of 21032 in my gender

I finished with a negative split again this race.  This probably had more to do with the fact that the first half of the race was mostly uphill than any particular training attributes.

Mile 1: 8:34
Mile 2: 8:27
Mile 3: 8:55
Mile 4: 8:34
Mile 5: 8:24
Mile 6: 8:20







I’m Engaged!!

May 26, 2014 |  by  |  Personal  |  2 Comments


Wedding Season is Over (for now)

May 20, 2014 |  by  |  Travel  |  1 Comment

I am back from Miami and barring any surprise weddings, officially done with Wedding Season 2014.

My travels took me from Las Vegas to the Bay Area, back to Denver, back to the Bay Area, back to Denver, to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina (via Charlotte, NC and Savannah, GA), back to Denver, to Miami, FL and finally back to Denver. Suffice to say, I’m exhausted! But I’d do it all again to celebrate with all of my good friends.

I have somehow been able to maintain my running mileage, but I am getting hammered on getting bike and swim fit. I am about 8 weeks out from my triathlon in Kansas and I should really be starting to enter an aggressive training phase. After the BolderBoulder is done and over next Monday, I will reassert myself and concentrate on tri training.

Traveling for Work Stinks

April 15, 2014 |  by  |  California, Travel  |  1 Comment

I’m finally back from Round 1 of traveling, which fortunately is also my longest travel leg. After spending 3 exhausting days/3 nights in Las Vegas (doing almost nothing fun, mind you) working a trade show, I spent another 3 days/2 nights in Northern California showing Sara around town and going to a friend’s wedding. I’ve been home for just about 36 hours now, and between going back to the office, a furnace crisis and a pen in my pant pocket exploding all over my dryer and some brand new clothes, I still feel exhausted! I don’t know how people regularly travel for business.

Putting the Work In for July and October Now

April 4, 2014 |  by  |  Running, Triathlon  |  No Comments

Even though I have more events on my race calendar, the two A-races that I’m focusing on for 2014 are a marathon in October and an Olympic distance triathlon in July. Even though training cycles for both of those events don’t start quite for another month or so, I’ve been working hard to build and maintain my aerobic fitness.

q1 running mileage

This was my biggest running Q1 (Jan-Mar) since moving to Denver – strike that, this was my highest running volume Q1 ever. What contributed to such a big quarter is March, when I ran over 70 miles! That is the most I’ve ever ran in the month, even when I was training for a marathon!

The obvious challenge to running through January to March is the weather here in Denver; even though our winters are mild compared to the Midwest and the East Coast, it is still occasionally inhospitable to running: snowy (or worse, icy) roads, trails and paths, the air is chilly and the sun sets by 4:00 PM. My workplace has showers here, so I think being able to run during the daytime definitely helped me in the particularly harsh months of January and February. My goal is to generally run at least three times a week (preferably four) and try to log 20 miles a week during my maintenance phases. Once training cycles start (especially for triathlon), my volume will change.

If I hadn’t ran the Surf City Half-Marathon and Marathon in 2012 and 2013, respectively, I probably would’ve put in even fewer miles for the winter months. So for me, the Surf City run series an annual tradition that helps to keep me motivated throughout the winter “downseason.” Am I going to sign up for Surf City 2015? Most definitely.

What gets me out the door when I’m tired, grouchy or hungry is my goal for October: running a 4-hour marathon. By putting in the groundwork this early (which isn’t even that early anymore), I think that I will be less injury-prone come August/September/October when I have to start adding some 15+ mile long runs to my training schedule.

4 Weddings (0 Funerals) in 6 Weeks

March 27, 2014 |  by  |  Travel  |  1 Comment

I’ll be a jet setting maniac in April, May and June!

I have to go to Las Vegas at the beginning of April to go to a trade show for work. Immediately after the trade show, I’m flying straight from Las Vegas to exotic San Jose, CA for a wedding in Half Moon Bay for Jerry’s wedding. Sara and I are turning that into a long weekend, so I’ll get to show her UCSC, Monterey Bay Aquarium and San Francisco. I get the following weekend off from travel, but the next weekend, I have to go back to San Francisco for Bicky’s wedding in Pleasanton, CA. That one will be a 36 hour trip. The next weekend, my mom will be in town to visit and check out the house. The weekend after that, I’m heading out to Hilton Head, South Carolina for Jon and Becca’s wedding, which will be my first foray into the South (if you don’t count my two weeks at Space Academy in Huntsville, Alabama…) And then finally, the weekend after Jon and Becca’s wedding, I’m going to Miami, Florida for Alex’s wedding.

And all of those trips will be bookended by my annual week-long trip to visit my family in Anaheim.

Luckily for me, barring any unforeseen surprise engagements, the wedding in Miami should close the books on the 2014 wedding season for me. This is the roughest wedding year yet because of all the travel! I had a number of weddings to go to in 2012 and 2013, but they were concentrated in Southern California, which means cheap flights and a place to stay. Admittedly, my bank account is hurting from booking all this travel, but these are all good friends so I think it’s worth it.

One thing is for sure though, this travel is definitely going to wreck my training schedules.


Linked Article: “If You Run Slow, Who Cares?”

March 18, 2014 |  by  |  Running  |  3 Comments

I saw this Competitor article floating around social media today, ‘If You Run Slow, Who Cares?‘, and if you are a serious runner, casual runner or an aspiring runner, I think it’s worth the 5-minutes of reading time. But if you’re lazy, here’s some isolated quotes:

Many runners, both new and experienced, hesitate to join local running groups or participate in online communities. When asked why, most respond that they are embarrassed by how slow they are.

Until I went to my first running group earlier this year at Road Runner Sports, I had been hesitant to go since I felt like I was a slow runner. And then there’s also that whole crushing social anxiety

I’m glad I went though, since it led to me joining the Arvada Triathlon Club and I’ve made it a weekly thing (plus I won a pair of shoes!) I now also occasionally run with the Runners Roost Louisville running group after work.

From a pure performance perspective, thinking negatively can inhibit you from achieving your potential. While thinking you’re slow may seem harmless, every time you preface a statement with the phrase, “I know I am slow, but …” you condition your mind to believe that you can never be fast.”

Ah yes, one of the tenets from one of my favorite books, Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude: You are what you think.

Runners are perhaps the most welcoming and friendly group of athletes I’ve ever met. No runner I know has a problem slowing down to run with a friend.

True and true. Everybody at the running groups I’ve been to has been exceedingly nice. And one of my friends from work, now a running buddy, is at least 2 minutes/mile faster than me but he’s always been happy to slow down to my pace and never complained about it.

On that note, in preparation for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, I am now considering joining a paid running club in town. It looks like my options are Runners Edge of the Rockies or Revolution Running – Does anybody have any experience with either?

Race Recap: Erin Go Braugh 7.77k

March 16, 2014 |  by  |  Food, Running  |  No Comments

I ran the 3W Races Erin Go Braugh 7.77k race yesterday with Sara, James and Ben.

James and Ben, whom I’ve been friends with since 1st and 7th grade respectively, were visiting me here in Arvada for the weekend. Since I won a free entry for the race from a 3W Ambassador at a Road Runners Sports run group and I was going to run the race anyways, I convinced them and Sara to sign up too.

The 7 or 7.77 km (~4.35 or 4.8 mi) distance is an oddball one, reserved for St. Patrick’s Day fun runs. Because 7 is a lucky number, luck of the Irish, St. Patrick’s Day, etc. etc. Get it?? As Steve, a fellow Arvada Triathlon Club member (and 3W Ambassador), said, the 7km distance is peculiar for race pacing. You can’t go all out like you would a 5k, but you don’t need to conserve much energy like you would for a 10k and above.

Ben, me and James

Ben, me and James

Sara and me

Sara and me

I think this was the smallest race I’ve ever participated in, and that ended up being a really good thing. I’ve done so many of the “mega races” (participants measured in the tens of thousands), such as the Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver, Surf City and Bolder Boulder) that I’ve become jaded and used to being treated like cattle at races. But this one was small and intimate…I didn’t have to struggle to find parking or wait in a 50-person line to use a port-a-potty. Heck, we each brought 7 items of food (are you seeing a theme here?) to donate and everybody but me won a raffle prize! James won a backpack, which I just saw that he “forgot” to take back, Ben won a case of Sneakz Organic milkshakes, which he left here, and Sara won a $10 gift card to Fuzzy’s Tacos. Score!

Overall, I thought it was a really positive race experience. 3W impressed me with this race…I plan on participating in more of their races in the future, especially since so many of them are local to me.

Group shot before the run

Group shot before the run

To me, the toughest part of the race was the weather. It was in the 40s, which is actually comfortable for running, but the wind was howling in the morning. I probably would’ve been well-served to wear a jacket or at least a vest, but in the spirit of wearing green, I opted to run in shorts and a tech tee. I ran the course last Saturday with the Road Runners Sports group, so none of the gentle rolling hills caught me off guard.

All You Can Eat Lucky Charms!

All You Can Eat Lucky Charms at the finish line!

The four of us ran the first half-mile together until we all split up to run at our comfortable respective race paces. We started at the back of the pack, so I had to do a fair amount of passing walkers in the beginning on the path. The race almost felt like an interval workout, since I was accelerating to pass packs of runners pretty often and then slowing down when I got caught in congestion. It didn’t bother me at all though since it was a fun run. I finished with a decent time (42:47), which placed me 113th out of 428, just outside of the top 25% of finishers. Not bad!

I think everyone was happy with their results (it was Ben’s first race ever!) and just to be done with the race so we could get out of the cold! We also all PRed since it was our first time running a 7.77km distance race, haha. How did we celebrate our PRs? All-you-can-eat!

We opted to forego the $10 Mexican food buffet hosted by 3W and decided to go for the decidedly more expensive all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ option at Dae Gee. It was great to get to eat KBBQ and drink beer/soju with Ben and James again since we used to go eat it all the time in Garden Grove.

All You Can Eat Korean BBQ

All You Can Eat Korean BBQ

Not all you can drink soju

Not all you can drink soju thank goodness

…another blog post to come to recap the rest of Ben and James’ trip!