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Category “life”

Captn’ Karls: The Shoe 2010

Last weekend, I ran The Shoe (part of the Captn’ Karls trail series). The course was pretty challenging given the fact that my ankle isn’t 100 percent still and there were rocks everywhere…

And then it got dark which made it a bit worst when it comes to detecting rocks… so of course I managed to roll my bad ankle again…

I ended up finishing in roughly 3 hours and 20 minutes… which I’ll take given the course…

Zilker Relays 2010

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to run in the Zilker Relays with a friend.

We went for two legs each as we had some trouble forming a last minute team.

We ended up finishing in 1:07:03 which isn’t that bad… I ran about 15:30 on average… meh…

Hood to Coast 2010

This year I had the opportunity to participate in the Hood to Coast 2010 relay, that starts in beautiful Mt. Hood and ends at the beach in Seaside, Oregon.

I’m always a fan of doing relay races so I was ready to conquer the 197 miles. I started out with Leg 5 which wasn’t that bad…

…besides the hill climb in the end… but I ended up running it in 43:00 which isn’t that bad. After that, Leg 17 was up  which was nice and flat 5.69 miles… it was a night run and I cruised in at 38:46 feeling pretty good.

A bit sore, but still good. My last leg was 29 and it was 6.11 miles full of terrible…

… the first 3.5 miles were essentially up hill with a nice steep grade climb to finish things off. After that, the downhill was probably the most enjoyable running I had the whole relay… I felt like I was floating. On average, I ran about a 7 minute mile pace the whole relay which isn’t bad given the status of my injured ankle. I think once my ankle recovers I’ll be back to my 6 minute mile pace. In the end, my team ended up finishing in 26 hours and 11 minutes (faster than last year!) which put is at 181th out of 1023 teams and in the 54th Open Men’s division.

‘Til next year where sub 26 hours should be in our future!

Capt’n Karls 2010: The Falls

Last weekend, I experienced Capt’n Karls The Falls in beautiful Pedernales Falls State Park.

The best way I can describe the course is that it was freakn’ hot outside… it was about 105F during the day and cooled down a bit in the evening… but it was definitely toasty. I also sprained my ankle pretty bad about half way through the course which wasn’t that fun… this is me smiling just about before it got dark and my ankle slipped on some rocks…

I initially planned to do the full 60km but settled for 30km after spraining my ankle and due to the heat. I finished in about 3:25 which is slow for me… I normally would have finished under 3 hours but hey, you don’t always have your best days. This week, I’m looking to heal up and get ready for next weekend’s XTerra half marathon trail race!

San Diego Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon 2010

Last weekend I head the pleasure of running the San Diego Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon with some buddies. The weather was gorgeous, the 6:15am half marathon start time, not so much.

I believe there were about 40,000 runners doing the race. It’s always nice to know when you start in corral 1 and turn around and just see a wave of people behind you (I think there were about 40 corrals total).

I somehow managed to have a great run given the little training I’ve been doing as of late. I think my results mostly have to do with me doing CrossFit and heat acclimatization runs during the hottest part of the day in Austin. Anyways, I managed to cross the finish line at Sea World in 1:28:05 which is a new half marathon PR for me! When I first started the race, I was chilling with the 1:30 pace group but after a few miles, I felt pretty good and picked up my pace. The course was mostly flat with some hills and some surprising highway running! My results ended up putting me 65th out of 13561 runners overall and 11th out of 601 runners in my age group. My splits were as follows…

5K: 20:54
6.3M: 42:35
11M: 1:16:07

I’m looking at doing sub 1:25 next, it should be easily reachable if I start doing more track workouts. On a side note, I got to spend some time in La Jolla, CA after the race which was nice. There’s nothing like a little post-race brunching and noshing in La Jolla. On top of that, it managed to bring back some great and interesting memories from last year. But alas, life’s too short for regrets, right?

San Diego Breweries In 24 Hours

Last weekend, I had an opportunity with some friends to hit up San Diego for a mancation which included brewery tours and running a half marathon. The genesis of the trip was when a lot of us realized our summer was going to be busy as hell so we better get a quick vacation in before things get hellish again. To have a proper mancation, you need to have an attention grabbing colored Mustang.

The first stop on our brewery tour was Green Flash Brewing.

I’ll have to say, this is one of the most pleasant and unpretentious breweries I’ve ever been to. It also has one of my favorite beers, Le Freak, which is a Belgian Style IPA. All you have to imagine is a ménage à trois between an American IPA, a Belgian Trippel and some extra hops… so delicious. After spending $6 for 10 or so generously poured 2oz samples of all their beers, we were ready to move on. The next stop on the brewery tour was Stone Brewing which I almost confused for a winery given how nice it was. On top of that, the restaurant inside the brewery is top notch.

I’m a fan of Stone’s Ruination IPA and their selection of beers on draft was impressive… I mean they had Piny the Elder on draft which made me a bit jealous and salivate…

After awhile, we decided to stop the brewery tour a bit short because the lack of a designated driver and the desire to run a half marathon the next morning at 6:15am. So the obvious next choice was to stop at Trader Joes (since we don’t have one in Austin) and shamelessly fill up on chocolate…

In the end, I always enjoy my time in the San Diego area.

Real Ale Ride 2010

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to cycle the Real Ale Ride 2010 with friends.

The ride takes place in beautiful Blanco, TX which makes for picture perfect Texas hill country cycling. What I did forget about Blanco is that the terrain is pretty hilly. There were several times throughout the ride where you saw signs about steep grade ahead… they weren’t lying. In the end, we went for the 65 mile route and finished in under 4 hours.

My personal highlight of the race was devouring a delicious ice cream cookie by KoolKones

So good! I hope these cookies appear at other races in Austin!

Travel Tip: Airline Meals

Awhile ago, I blogged about my advice for when it comes to traveling since I’ve done quite a bit in my lifetime so far. I had a friend approach me recently complaining that he’s put on about 20 pounds since he started a consulting job a few months ago. He wanted some advice how I manage my diet when I travel. Well, there’s the typical advice that you try to order anything that has fish as the main course as that comes with healthier items generally. The other bit of advice I have is that when you’re eating airline meals, contact the airline in advance and modify your meal profile to say that you don’t eat gluten or have some type of gluten allergy.

This will make your meals significantly healthier. I find that my meals now come with fruit and other healthier items than starchy gluten-related things. On top of that, you get the extra laugh of looking at the plane attendants reactions while you chug a beer on the flight (I’m sorry, gluten-free beer is disgusting still… if you find a good one let me know).

Hope this helps and enjoy traveling!

Things I munched on in Poland…

When I travel, I’m generally a fan of all things food and drink. In my dream of living as Anthony Bourdain for a day, I decided to sample the variety of culinary delicacies in Poland. My first stop as with any place I generally visit is to get some local beer. In Poznan, there was a great brewery in the city center… they have a great Hefeweizen that I was a fan of…

For breakfast, all I had to do is see this and have some… I mean… come on…

The next culinary destination was ogórki ze smalcem. Apparently this was a meal popular with peasants and other common folks… essentially it’s pickles and lard you spread on bread. At 8 zloty ($2 USD), this dish could have fed a small army.

Next on the list was some plums wrapped in bacon… I mean… anything wrapped in bacon is delicious… it’s the chocolate of meats…

The other item I ate was Sledzie. This was an item I avoided in my youth as I just don’t do pickled fish. My mom would be proud to know that Sledzie was offered for free with every shot of vodka you took (a sign of a great food apparently).

And to top off any meal in Poland, no better way to do it then with some Polish vodka.

In the end, I loved my culinary adventure in Poland.

Daisy 5K 2010

This morning I had the opportunity to run the Daisy 5K hosted by Austin Runners Club (ARC).

After two weeks of travel, I’m at least happy to report I can run a sub 20 minute 5K. I ended up finishing in 19:45 and finished third in my age group. That’s about 90 seconds away from my PR so I have a lot to do to get back on the running wagon. On top of that, I signed up for three 60K trial races in the Austin area. I’m looking forward to training seriously again now that my travel is going to die down quite a bit. Anyways, kudos to ARC for another superbly organized race.