Year in review - Travel

Do you travel much?

I travel a lot and sometimes people ask me how much I travel.  I'm also a bit of a nerd (or geek depending on your definition) but I'm definitely a very analytical person.  Therefore, when I realized how much travel this job was going to require, I embraced it and get a little excited every time I get an entry stamp in my passport from a country I have not been to before.   For our anniversary last week, my wife gave me this awesome map.  You can scratch off countries you've been to.  I haven't started scratching yet, but am looking forward to getting started.

2017 was a little slower on the international travel side of things, but still managed to get to 3 new countries (France, Germany and Switzerland).  This brings me to a total of 25 countries I've been to, but that includes 2 countries I was in for less than a day.  I went to a total of 8 different countries in 2017 and spent a total of 74 days outside the USA.

All work and no play?

Hot Chocolate 15k 2017

Better late than never.
I haven't blogged for a while so while this might be the longest I've waited to post a race report, I guess getting restarted with my blogging makes it better late than never.

This was the 4th year in a row that I've done this race.  There were a few changes to the race this year, the one that I noticed most, was that the first leg of the race was out and back and I seem to remember that part not being out and back.

My running had not been very consistent so I started with the 10:30 mpm pacer and said if I was feeling good I would pick up the pace later in the race.  According to my data we were almost 30 sec fast the first mile, but then settled into about 10:20 miles.

I was feeling pretty good so I started picking up the pace at 8 miles (9:58) and a bit more at 9 (8:42) and managed to pick it up a bit more for the last third of a mile (8:21) feeling pretty good.  I guess my training has been better than I thought and I need to start being more aggr…

Hot Chocolate 15k

The Hot Chocolate race is a fun race with some good giveaways.  I'd done this twice before and I like the course (mostly).  My wife decided to walk it with a friend and I have been getting some consistent running so I thought I would actually try to race it as opposed to just running it.  The main difference for me is that when I race, I look at my recent running (ideally racing results) and decide a target pace.

Based on my last 10k on Thanksgiving (8:51 mpm according to MapMyFitness), I decided to shoot for a 9:00 minute per mile pace.  I felt this was a bit aggressive but based on my earlier results (I was shooting for at least 9:30 mpm on Thanksgiving), I thought I had a chance.

I said Good Bye and Good Luck to Christine and her friend and they went to stand in line for the port-a-john.  I decided to do a little warming up and did a little slow running and then several pickups speeding up to a sprint before backing off.  Once I was feeling loosened up, I headed over to my cor…

Oceanside Turkey Trot 10k

When we decided to spend Thanksgiving in Oceanside, I didn't think about doing a race while we were here, but when I saw my friend Rich Cruse post about the Oceanside Turkey Trot and I realized it started less than a mile from where we were staying, I thought it would be a fun way to start Thanksgiving.

The start of the 10k was 6:45 so I left the condo at about 6 and walked over.  It was a little chilly but as long as I was moving I was ok.  I had forgotten my water holder belt, so I decided to just go with water available on the course and drank a water bottle on the way and while waiting for the start.

It only took a few minutes to get there and find the race bib pick up. The only downside to the process was that even though they had plenty of volunteers, it looked like everyone who had pre-registered had numbers in the same range so there was only 1 volunteer that could help everyone which caused a line.  Not a big problem for me because I was early enough so I got my number p…

Four Peaks Challenge 2016

This is the second year for this event which consisted last year of a hiking challenge.  The hiking challenge included 4 hills in the area for a total of about 11 miles of hiking.  This year, they added a new option.  Instead of driving to each trailhead, you could sign up for the Elite challenge and follow a route of roads and trails to get to and from the Four Peaks.  This version consisted of about 20 miles of trails and hills.  Yes, if you know me at all, you know I elected the crazy long version.

I got there about 6:00 for registration which was handled smoothly and efficiently.  They had pancakes and bacon and oatmeal.  I had some oatmeal and put my race number on and then dropped my stuff in my car.  The nice thing about small races is parking is not a huge nightmare.

At 6:20 they had some announcements for those of us doing the long race including some notes on the course.  Then we lined up at the start line for the countdown to 6:30 and we were off.

The first couple miles wer…

FitBit Blaze - Review

First of all, I had the FitBit Surge before this and I loved it.  However, the band started to wear badly after about 8 or 9 months of hard use so when I fell and the screen got scratched, I decided to use my extra warrantee and trade it in.

I went in to Best Buy planning on simply exchanging it for another Surge and I had been happy with it so I had not done any research into the other products on the market at that time.  When I got there, I needed someone to unlock the display to get the new Surge out and they started telling me about the Blaze.  I liked the look (more watch-like, less sport-tracker) and the associate assured me that it also had GPS and I could use it to track my runs without my phone. Turns out that is not true. I don't know if he was mis-informed or just mis-represented the product, but that is the only thing I had been unhappy with and that is not anyone's fault but mine for not looking into the product a bit more.

So I've been using the Blaze for a…

Fiesta Bowl HM - 12-02-12

This race report is overdue.  The rule I try to follow is "1 day per 1 hour of racing" and thus I am a bit late so feel free to drop my score accordingly when grading this assignment.

Woke up a few minutes before my alarm after getting a pretty good nights sleep.
Coffee and cinnamon raisin toast before leaving. Coffee is a new addition to my pre-race routine thanks to a new coffee-maker in the kitchen.  I figured it couldn't be any worse than the diet coke I usually drink on race mornings, especially since the carbonation has been bothering my stomach when I run lately.

Christine and I got some of the last parking spots and walked over to the race "village".
One of the first tents I saw was my old  team tent, Team Diabetes.  Got the chance to chat with Coach Dave for a few minutes.
Found the gear check (so Christine could drop my gear bag off after the start) and started towards the start line.
Last year, my watch didn't find the satellites till p…