I knocked out my first two-a-day on Sunday, my first of the year. I went for a swim in the morning since I’ve been feeling guilty about slacking off on my swim workouts for a couple months now. Part of that reason is because I am completely underwhelmed (and a little disgusted) by the swim/change facilities at the 24 Hour Fitness in Arvada; to be frank, that’s mostly just an excuse.
It was so beautiful out on Sunday after a few bitterly cold days that I had to throw on my running shoes and go for a run in the evening. Heck, when I went to the Road Runners Sports group run on Saturday morning, I was wearing running tights, a long sleeve shirt, a jacket and a beanie. It just felt so liberating to go for a run in shorts and a tshirt and soak up some vitamin D. Just you wait, I’ll be complaining about how hot it is in a couple more months.
I got tweeted/retweeted by Angels superstar Josh Hamilton last week after I sent him a picture of me and my ridiculous new basement decorations!
— Josh Hamilton (@thejoshhamilton) March 4, 2014
After Josh Hamilton tweeted that picture, it netted 3 replies (and only one negative one!) and 84 favorite/retweets. My Klout score (does anybody even use that still?) sent up 6% after this!
And one of my old favorite Galaxy players, Joe Cannon, sent me a tweet yesterday after I wished him good luck:
.@tehphil thanks phil. working hard. good things will happen. appreciate you taking time out of your day to say nice things!
— Joe Cannon (@JoeCannonGK1) March 9, 2014
So did I bait them both a little with how I worded my tweets? Maybe a little
This is why social media is so cool…it makes famous people that more accessible to us common folk, the lowly proletariat. Even though these were both such minuscule interactions with me, Josh Hamilton and Joe Cannon both endeared themselves to me by sending those tweets.
Per CNN, Getty Images is opening 35 million photos/images to bloggers/tweeters/online publishers to embed in their websites!
To celebrate, here’s a stock photo of people celebrating this momentous news :
And here’s a powerful image from the crisis in the Ukraine, which I’ve been following closely. Unarmed Ukranian airmen march towards a Russian blockade:
After some cursory browsing, it looks like most images from major league games aren’t part of their new free embedding policy. I don’t post too much about sports anymore so it’s not a big deal to me personally, but if it was, this is nothing that a little copy/pasting couldn’t solve…
Enjoy your new trove of images to use for your blogs, people! Get started at the Getty Images website and let me know if you have any help embedding into your blog.
I finally went out for my first run in a week after suffering through a bout of extreme cold. I went for an “easy” run but it’s pretty hilly around my neighborhood (and where I work in Louisville for that matter) so it’s pretty rare for me to get an actual easy “easy” run in. I’m still not feeling 100% healthy (I’d rate myself at about 95%) but it still felt great to get a decent run in.
I had a stomach bug 3 weeks ago which took me out of commission for about a week and I got sick again last week with a really bad cold that’s been going around, which has taken me out for another week. I hope this is the last time I get sick during the winter so I can start rebuilding/maintaining my aerobic base fitness.
My basement decorating is coming together quite nicely…although the definition of “nicely” in this context probably depends on your gender. I’ll let you judge for yourself by showing you a couple walls:
Pretty awesome, right?? My friend Brian graciously went to an Angels yard sale and stood in line, where he grabbed a couple stadium banners, a game-used jersey and some other knick knacks for me. The banners stand at over 8′ tall. Each. Brian gave me a 2013 Josh Hamilton banner and a 50th Anniversary 2011 Torii Hunter banner. He bought a third banner, a 2013 Albert Pujols jersey, but he decided to keep it for himself.
And then of course, there’s my soccer wall:
Yup…the only way to decorate like this is by living alone. And I still have a Galaxy and a Rapids flag to put up!
I can’t wait to add more of my sports memorabilia!
Newton Running sponsored the Runner’s Roost Louisville run club tonight. Despite being a semi-frequent shopper at that Runner’s Roost, this was my first time attending their run club. Steven (Stephen?) from Newton brought along some Newton Running shoes for the group to demo.
There has been a lot of attention around the Newton running system, which encourages a natural running motion and improved running form as a result. Newton Running is a Boulder-based company, so they get a lot of attention in the Colorado running community. As such, I’ve been very curious about the shoes and even recommended Sara to get a pair!
I currently run in New Balance Minimus Road Zeros and Saucony Virratas. Both are considered barefoot/minimal-type shoes, with the Minimus Zeros much further along the minimal spectrum than the Virratas. Before those, I ran in Vibram FiveFinger Bikila shoes, so its pretty fair to say that I am a fan of minimal running shoes.
The shoes I demoed were the just-released Newton Gravity III running shoe. They felt a little heavier than my New Balances but felt about the same as my Sauconys. Looking at the product spec sheet online, the shoes have a 3mm heel-toe drop. The shoes I’m in now both have 0mm drops, but I was barely able to feel the 3mm drop.
We went out for a 4.5 mile run in Louisville, where I got to take the shoes through a variety of conditions: road, pavement, snow, ice pack and dirt trail. The shoe had a good, springy feeling on all the different road conditions. Like any good neutral trainer, the Gravity III didn’t have any motion control. The shoes felt responsive throughout the run.
Verdict? If I was in the market for a new pair of shoes, I would put the Gravity III under heavy consideration. A major drawback is the prohibitive price: the MSRP for these bad boys is $175. Of course, older/different models can be had for less, but they would be missing the newer 5-lug technology. If I were to buy a pair, it would probably replace the Sauconys in my shoe closet as my long run shoe. But in the meantime, the shoe wasn’t lifechanging enough for me to immediately pull out my wallet to buy a pair!
Stephen/Steven will be at Road Runner Sports in Westminster on Saturday for a running symposium before the run club, so I’ll be there to possibly try on a couple different other pairs of shoes and have my running form analyzed.
The Arvada Triathlon Club hosted a USA Triathlon Level 2 coach at our last meeting on Monday.
Some takeaways from his talk on Olympic distance race training:
- I have been criminally undertraining for all of my past tris
- 3x workouts of each discipline a week for participants, 4x of each for “veterans”
- For participants, there should be a 2-3 weeks building phase followed by 1 week recover
- No junk workouts – every workout needs a purpose
- Intervals are your friend
I’m glad I got to listen to the coach’s insights and recommendations. I have basically been winging all of my past triathlons (looking up training plans online and loosely following the schedule) so now I know I need to be focused on a better/more consistent training schedule. Admittedly, a lot of my workouts in the past have been “junk” (ie. training without a purpose.) My next triathlon on the calendar isn’t until July, but I should really start getting some more pool time in to build up a base. In fact, I should probably get on the trainer some time soon too…
I went up to Winter Park this past weekend for Sara’s family’s annual cabin trip. It was my second time up there as part of their annual trip. We drove up from Arvada on Friday, which was felt way closer to the mountains than it really since, since I was used to driving to the resort towns from south Denver.
Friday night was non-descript since we had to wake up fairly early on Saturday to hit the slopes. Among the participants, I was the only snowboarder. I was pretty nervous since this was my first time snowboarding in a year, but my trepidation was unfounded since I did just fine. It took me a few minutes to remember how to turn toe-side, but I got the hang of it. Conditions were okay on the mountain; the snow wasn’t very powdery and the wind was blowing pretty hard.
But then poor Sara got sick when we were at the top of a run! I think she caught the same stomach bug that I had earlier in the week (and she has since passed it on to her mom and oldest sister.) After unceremoniously throwing up onto the side of a run, she called it quits and skiied back down to the village. Hoping to beat her to the bottom, I went down a different run than her, which as it turns out, did not go down to the village. I had to go to the end of that run, take a lift back up, then come back down on a really slow trail. Suffice to say, she was not happy to see me 30 minutes later. More bad luck befell our group when Sara’s cousin’s wife got slammed into by another skiier. My information is a couple days old now, but last we heard, she was potentially looking at a torn ACL. Yikes.
The rest of Saturday was spent lounging around the house, catching up on some reading on my Kindle (The Shining by Stephen King if you’re wondering), watching some NCAA basketball games and enjoying a delicious dinner prepared by Sara’s mom and sister.
Here’s some photos I snapped on Sunday before we left and that Sara snapped while I was driving/sitting on the I-70 parking lot. Hope you all had good weekends too!
I got a surprise visit on Thursday from my friends Kim, Bicky, Maureen and another one of Bicky’s bridesmaids. They were en route from LA to New Orleans for Bicky’s bachelorette party when they found out that their connecting flight at Denver International Airport got cancelled. They had the choice between waiting the day in LA or spending a day out in Colorado. Luckily for me, they opted for the latter and I got a phone call in the morning from Kim letting me know that they’d be in town!
They spent the day around town (they even got a private tour of Dick’s Sporting Goods Park!) and I met them up at my house after I got off work. I wanted to take them to a hip restaurant in the Highlands (Root Down or Linger) but the waits for tables were ridiculous as usual. So instead, I took them to the best local restaurant, The Arvada Tavern and Sara and I became a temporary members of their bachelorette party.
Hopefully they enjoyed it and their layover in this fair state! Their jam-packed itinerary reminded me of an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s The Layover. It was also the third time I saw Kim in a month (she visited me last month here in Denver and then at the USA/Korea soccer game), which is funny, since we never hung out that frequently when I was still living in SoCal. But in any case, it was so nice to see everybody and meet a new friend; I guess there are some pros to living in a city with a major hub, since this is the second time I’ve been able to hang out with friend(s) that had cancelled connecting flights at DIA.
Just a quickie…I just came out of the movie theater and I wanted to blog about this before I forget to/get to lazy to tomorrow. Sara and I just watched Lone Survivor and I LOVED it! I’m a sucker for war memoirs and read the book back in 2007-2008 (hey I even recommended it! - lesson learned, blog more consistently); from what I can remember, the movie was pretty faithful to the book. I’ll have to revisit the book some time, or better yet, read Mr. Luttrell’s follow-up book – Service: A Navy SEAL at War.
I was surprised that Sara wanted to watch the movie since she doesn’t like action/war movies. But apparently the way I described the movie (Navy SEAL team goes on op, encounters/captures a couple Afghan kids, they face a tough choice, battle for survival ensues) somehow got morphed into ‘Navy SEAL team goes on op, encounters/captures large group of Afghan school children, they face tough choice, they spend days together agonizing over a decision and they come to learn and respect each others’ cultures and difference in beliefs.’ And yeah, you can guess whose movie description was closer to accurate.
Also – Go see ‘The Monuments Men’. We saw that on Saturday and both enjoyed it.