Friday, December 28, 2012

Time to set some goals - 2013 Edition

Plain and simple -- This is my public statement of my resolutions for the year. Don't feel obligated to read this is more for me.
Last year it was 10 books and write more on the blog.  And that was do-able. So I will keep that resolution.  However I want to read at least three classics I have not read before and one book I read in the past but think I should review again as an adult.  I will consult with my English-major-almost-MD sister on the classics.  She most likely still has her collection of books from college.  As for the re-read I am pretty sure I will read The Great Gatsby.

I want more people to read this blog however I don't want to focus on one topic and sell my soul to the topic for an increase in traffic. So I will just have to write more and be more creative about the ways I talk about issues that are kind of boring.  In this area I also want to have more inbound traffic from fellow bloggers.

For the club, we will created a bad-ass news letter/blog type thing for which we will win many awards and the people will rejoice. 

1,200+ miles for the year. I will PR the Kaiser Half Marathon in February and the Oakland Marathon in March. I will run a 3:45:00 and I will run a negative split marathon.  Extra points if that is one in the same.  I will also beat my 21:22 5K PR in Tulsa.  Because I have become one of "those" people, I want to take on a 50K. This may not happen next year, but I am putting it out there. 
Related Fitness Stuff - I will do planks five times a week and strength train at least twice a week.  Goal weight will be achieved and maintained before I turn 30 (in four weeks).
Life Stuff
Since living in Northern California, Abby and I have yet to go to wine country. This will be fixed this year and in honor of that goal I will drink more wine.   I will watch all of the Frontline episodes on my DVR. I will get back involved with the Jewish community and social justice causes I used to care more about. 
Yup that sums it up.  Here we go 2013. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The once and future blog post

In four days the year will be over.  Thankfully.

While I have discussed that I am happy the year is coming to an end, it is my duty as a blogger to indulge in the self-indulgent review of my achievements.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Movin' Out

We moved. I wish it was as much fun as the musical by Billy Joel and Twyla Tharp.  While it couldn't have been much easier than it was, moving sucks a lot.

We listened to Bill but didn't dance like Twyla

Our new place is about .15 miles away from our old place but it may as well be on another planet.  When I first moved to San Francisco I wanted to live in a place that at least looked like Full House, which meant that it had to be an older building.  I was extremely lucky to find a place that was perfectly located in the middle of a neighborhood that I liked and was convienent to the express bus.  But that was about it.

I didn't live there, or even close. 
But we have friends that live close to it so it is cool
After living there for a few months, it became clear that that place was a one year only kind of place, or two at the absolute most.  The square footage was a few hundred sq/ft bigger than our place in New York but more than 200 sq/ft were wasted, the kitchen was crap, the heat didn't work, the windows were akin to stretched plastic wrap, the walls leaked, and I could go on and on. But I won't.  Instead, after they raised the rent, we moved.

As soon as the wall was leaking we put in our 30 day notice and started looking for a new place.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Change in the Marathoning Plan

So as soon as I announced my race schedule for next year I had to change it. The change is for a fantastic reason and had nothing to do with weather so don't worry. Now I am looking for a cheap, fun, and local fall marathon. Due the reason I have to change race dates, I would like to be running in October or very late September.

Here are few of the top choices in no real order. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Race Calendar 2013

As long as the group who didn't make it past a bunch of Spanish dudes in metal hats are wrong, here is my running plan for 2013. For now. There might be more, there might be less, but this is the plan:

1. Kaiser Half Marathon - February 3, 2013 - San Francisco, CA
This race is supposed to be fun and fast.  I have not run a half-marathon since last year at this time.  That race was in Davis and I missed a PR by a minute and a few seconds.  I was also easily 10 pounds heavier and not as fast.  This is the race I break 1:45 if not faster than that.  Come on by and ring a cow bell, then watch the Super Bowl.

2. Oakland Running Festival - March 24, 2013 - Oakland, CA
I will either be running the full or the half marathon in Oakland.  I won't make that choice until December 31st but I will be racing this race. I didn't race enough this past year and I really want to race more. It makes it more fun. Yay fun!

While it would be great to knock out another marathon, I honestly can say that I would be fine doing the half.  I have never run a half as part of a full. That will be interesting...I think.  More to come on this one.

3. Bulldog 25K - August 24, 2013 - Malibu Creek State Park, CA
This is a solid maybe, but it seems like fun.  I am not going to run my first ultra in Southern California in August. That seems silly. But a 25K seems like a great idea. 15+ miles on trails will be a great way to spend a summer morning.

4. Catch the Road Runner 5K - Summer 2013 - San Francisco, CA
The fantastic San Francisco Road Runners Club will be putting on our second annual 5K might change a little due to the America's Cup and other such craziness but it is on! I might run, I might work the race, I might do both...but I will be there and I will wear my pants.
So hot right now.
5. The New York City Marathon - November 3, 2013

You read that right.  I will be running the NYC marathon. So get sand bags ready. The city is safe for this year. I was just informed that I need to save the date for something much more important...more on that to follow.  Now I need to choose another Fall Marathon.

5A. The Tulsa Turkey Trot - Black Friday, 2013
I must defend my First Place Fat Boy title! Hopefully I will be able to keep off the extra seven pounds I have dropped since I started paying more attention (read: I am no longer a horse).  In that I am under the 200lb mark, I will not enter as a Clydesdale but I am hoping my new age group will help me move up in the age group prizes.

Friday, December 14, 2012

We need a lot more than love

This morning as many of us on the West Coast were getting ready for work, the cheery December morning shows were interrupted shattering our normalcy.  Mocktail recipes were cut short to blast images of SWAT teams rushing into an elementary school and lackluster journalist reports telling us that many children were killed in a small town in Connecticut.

At this hour 20 children, six adults and the shooter have been pronounced dead in Sandy Hook Elementary School.  Kids were shot in two classrooms. Classrooms. At school. 

In the aftermath of today's horrific events we need a hell of a lot more than love.

Sorry, we need more. (source)

Pictures of hugging and smiling children don't stop another Sandy Hook.  They don't save the lives of the children who will be killed in the next school shooting, because we know there will be another one.  Prayers will not do anything to stop a person from legally purchasing an automatic weapon, thousands of rounds of ammunition, and pulling the trigger. Tweets and Facebook posts will not provide mental healthcare services to those who need them.

No in fact the only thing those things will do is make you feel better for not getting killed today.

So here are a few things you can do that might help.
Call the President and demand he send a bill to Congress.  Fiscal Cliff or not, dead children should be enough to make him act.

Call Congress and tell them to get their act together. They must support and improve access to mental healthcare and pass a comprehensive assault weapons ban. Again, dead kids motivate people.

If you are in D.C. join my friend Adam Barr and thousands of others tonight at the White House to demand action because #TodayIsTheDay to end gun violence.
 Make a donation
There is no explanation that we can give for a massacre of children. All Americans are responsible for this one.  Let this be the last day we place our hands over our mouths and watch the unimaginable play out on the news.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Llama: As Transportation

I wanted to write something deep and meaningful about being busy but I am at a loss, because this picture is just too fantastic.

Thanks Ali on the Run for the image.

Sometimes you just need to enjoy something absurd and often times my friend Josh Heller is my place for those things. In recent weeks he has provided a few good Spotify play lists and other such fun. 

However, back to the picture. 

I suppose this photograph begs one clear question: Why is there a llama on a beach and not the highlands of central South America?


Also important: What does a llama say?



Ok I am done. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A step back

It is the end of the year. It is the end of our lease. It is the end marathon training. It is the last time those of us reading this post will ever see a 12-12-12 dateline.  But then again, isn't it a new beginning? (What was that noise you ask? It was me throwing up a little in my mouth.)
The Year: Facebook bombarded me with the Year in Review app that told me what was so fantastic about my year.  Unsurprisingly there were lots of posts about running and missing my wife in the first half of the year and lots of posts about running and living in San Francisco with my wife in the second half of the year.  As I said in my self-review for work, this year was "trying" and to be honest I am glad it is almost over.

The Lease: We are leaving our apartment after dealing with leaking walls, drafty windows, and general disregard for the upkeep of the place.  I will disclose more once I get my security deposit back, but I will say that after living in a place that I took pride in keeping up I was shocked that people don't want to keep their property in top condition.  Abby and I are moving into a place now that is clearly well maintained by a proud owner.  It is smaller but it has a washer and dryer.  And that is the sexist thing I have ever seen.  Abby agrees.
We are both thinking dirty thoughts...that will soon be clean.
The Training: This year's marathon training was insane. I started training on a schedule for New York in July.  I wanted it to be an epic PR.  And I was ready for it.  Thankfully, I didn't waste my training and got to run in the CIM.  It was supposed to be a fun and easier run after NYC, but it turned into a really tough race in the rain.  I am relieved that my training for the year is over.

I will run the New York Marathon, if NYRR ever figures out what they are going to do with the 47,000 of us who got caught up in the wash.  But I will run at least one other major event, what it is I don't know. I have the Kaiser Half on the schedule but nothing else.  An ultra sounds interesting but honestly 26.2 sucks enough. Not sure I am cut out for more mileage. However, I am pretty sure I said that about Marathoning for the first five years I lived along the New York City Marathon route.

I am currently assessing my goals for next year's races, but I am not making any concrete plans until January 1, 2013 (when the prices go up on the Oakland Marathon).

They are very pretty..
12-12-12: I don't care about that.  Some people think it is lucky and others think its just another day.  Others are right.

Over the next few weeks, we will move into a new place, start a new training schedule, and begin a new year. There are other new things too that will start in the new year.   But the best part of this past year has been the new things, especially our new friends here in San Francisco.  I have a pretty good feeling about the new year so here is to it.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Fire Hose of Moisture - The Story of CIM 2012

The Weather Channel wasn't wrong.  The Atmospheric River pointed a fire hose of moisture at my face and turned it up to high for about 3:35 on Sunday morning.  Which means that if I had hit my A Goal I would have been running in the rain for the entire time.  But thanks to that fire hose of moisture and approximately 40 mph headwinds A was OUT the window. However, B Goal was achieved with 4 minutes and 55 seconds to spare.

So here is the longer story.

After a quick stop at Trader Joe's for fuel we drove up to hangout with Dan and Karla in Sacramento.  The weather sorta held out. There was some rain but it wasn't so awful and we SAW A DOUBLE RAINBOW.


We went to Shabbat Services which was very nice and we got to see my good friend and college rabbi, had some tea and cookies, and watched some West Wing episodes. Then to bed.

Early on Saturday morning we went to expo, I became a nuun-vert, Abby picked up some insoles for her running shoes, and I got an extremely stylish poncho. We started the carb-fest with a few little things at the expo and some coffee.  We went off to Fox & Goose for brunch and saw Argo. Nice movie.

Then it was time for big carbs at Buca di Beppo with a mess of SFRRC running chums.
Tastes like carbs

To my surprise the food was actually pretty tasty.  While our order was plain, team cow bell (Dan, Karla, and Abby) had a more complex dish with meat and cheese and team cow bell said it was very good. Also it was $16 bucks per person, so that was excellent.  There were a number of first timers and they asked important questions and we all pretended to have the answers (sorry guys, we just made it up). 
First timers Vince, Heather, and Alex
Then it was bed time.  And then it was game time.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Final Thoughts - CIM

We are checked in at the hotel and ready to run in whatever is given to us here in Sacramento.

All set.

So some parting thoughts:
I am sucker for things my "friends" blog about
Today, after reading blogs of people I do not know rant and rave about nuun, I purchased two tubes of nuun.  Granted I have a few real friends who use the product and like it very much, and I can see why. I spent the afternoon enjoying some Tri-Berry nuun as I hydrated for the race. So thanks to and Sweaty Emily I am a nuun-vert. Well played nuun, your investment in these bloggers worked. Completely.

The expo was small but lovely
The expo was pretty small with few different vendors from other smaller races. However, the people were very nice and everyone was excited. I spoke for a few minutes with a 15 year vet of the race and everyone was smiling.  I really needed that.  The vibe (and the free stuff) really got me through my early morning nerves.

Going to the movies was smart.
We went to see Argo and that was GREAT. We spent more than two hours completely distracted and engrossed in a movie.  Mind you we knew what would happen and still couldn't take our eyes off the screen. I was totally distracted from the afternoon jitters. And they were coming on strong so this fantastic movie was a really good call.

It is also great to see people you know
Last night and today we hung out with our good friends Dan and Karla, who just got engaged. We had a lovely dinner and watched West Wing last night and today had a very chill brunch at Fox and Goose.  It was just relaxing to hang out and be around people who know you and your crazy.

The weather can kiss my ass
It is going to suck, but it will suck for all of us.  The race is on and it will be wet. 
I want to take this time to thank my lovely wife for supporting me throughout what hasn't been the easiest year and what has clearly been the most trying of my early marathoning life. Without her and her support, there is no way I would have made it here.

And yes I told her that personally too.