Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Don't Touch your Eyes, Nose, Ears and Mouth!

"And was your hands frequently". This was the advice given to me by friends,who had kids, on how to minimize the risk of getting sick. I have to tell you, it totally works. I've gotten sick less since I've adopted this practice. As an endurance athlete I have to be even more careful. Studies have shown that after marathons, runner's have a compromised immune system and are susceptible to sickness. Well if it's true for marathons surely it must also be true for heavy training, triathlons and other activities that deplete the body. If 26 miles can depress your immune system, what about 50 miles, 100 kilometers or 100 miles.

Stay healthy everyone.

Monday, January 30, 2006

A Good Weekend

In between storms on Sunday, on top of Hawk Hill.

You know when I was a kid I loved the rain. If I wasn't indoors reading comic books by a window I was in it, running through puddles and sloshing through the mud. Well I've never out grown that. This past Saturdays forecast lived up to expectations, rain and more rain. Having had a pretty busy work week I decided to sleep in, I'm not a morning person anyway. Had a good breakfast and even did some work till noon but by 1PM I was out the door just as a new set of showers were coming down. Nice! Even better the shinsplints that bothered me earlier in the week were a no show. Soon as I felt them on Tuesday I took the next two days off and when I went out on Friday there was only a weak lingering sign of them. I think I did right by backing off immediately.

From my apartment, 3 blocks from Union Square, I headed straight for the bay and followed the water's edge out of the Golden Gate and left down the Pacific coast. The trails on my route were nice and wet, muddy in some places, there was also fog and wind with the rain. As expected not many people were out and it was a quiet day for the most part. When I got to Ocean Beach, a stretch of beach that extends for about 3 miles, the rain stopped but the wind was murder. Without any structures to obstruct it, the wind swept South to North right down the beach. Running against it was like running a small hill and the noise was worse; I couldn't hear my music at all. It was beautiful nonetheless. It was low tide and the stretch of sand closest to the water's edge had a film of water on top of it. People walking on this part of the beach looked like they were walking on water. The sand felt great underneath me, firm but gentle on the legs. I was having such a great time I decided to add an extra mile down the beach. Finally on the turnaround, I was able to hear my music once again and the wind which relentlessly pushed against me was now pushing me down the beach. It literally pushed me back up the hill past the Cliff House.

The final miles of the run had me feeling quite good. The rain had started to fall again. The rain for the most part were showers, just enough to get you dirty but not enough to wash it off you. The overall effect was me with very sandy and muddy legs. Very sexy. I finished feeling like I could have done even more and I managed to get 21/22 miles for the day, just a tad more than the 20 I was aiming for. My heart rate monitor did catch my lack of conditioning though. My perceived effort for the whole run was only 7.5 on a scale from 1-10 but my hrm showed that my heart was working pretty hard. Good run but more like it is needed.

The storm passed through as forecasted and we were enjoying some sun before the next storm. Original plan was to join Jason and his work friends for a short bike ride and then maybe a run afterwards. At 8AM I got a call from J that he was bailing, he had been sick and he wasn't feeling any better. I wasn't feeling all that hot either. I was up till 2AM working the night before, I didn't have a good night's sleep (probably from sore legs - should have taken an ibuprofen before bed) and I had a headache. So I decided to go back to sleep, I thought that if I really needed the rest I should fall back to sleep easily which I did. By the time I woke up it was noon but feeling much more refreshed. By 1PM I was out the door again this time with my bike. This was my first real bike ride, all this time I've been spinning indoors because of the weather. It's a funny thing, the wind and rain that I love on the run I can't tolerate on the bike. First of all in the rain your brakes don't work as well, you're in the streets with cars that you don't trust even in the best of weather, fast turns are dicey, rain gets into your eyes and it's hard to keep warm.

Anyway there were tons of people out also taking advantage of the break in the bad weather. On the way out my friend Annie passed me going in the opposite direction, she probably spent the better part of the day biking in Marin. The bike ride went well, felt rusty to be sure but I managed. Decided to climb "Hawk Hill" for the view and had a great time, even got a fellow cyclist to take my picture. Rode the down the backside of the hill and stopped off at Rodeo Beach before heading home. Rodeo Beach has a special place in my heart. It's a small beach between hills north of the Golden Gate Bridge. It's clean, well taken care of and well taken advantage of. There are hikers, runners, tourists, beach goers, cyclists and surfers. Rodeo Beach is also the start/finish for the Headlands 50K, my first ultra-marathon back in 2001 and the Miwok 100K, a race I've run the last two years and plan on running for a third time this year.

All in all it was a good weekend. By 4PM Sunday as I was walking up Nob Hill to catch my bus for church, I could feel my legs all noodley underneath me:) ah yes that familiar feeling of weakness from doing great and wonderfully fun things.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Shoe Pow-Wow

ShoesShhh....he's coming over.

NIKE ACG: Alright everyone gather around, gather around.
Who's got duty this weekend? Who's doing the 20-Miler this Saturday?

MONTRAILS: We are, we are.

NIKE ACG: Who's got the run after the bike ride on Sunday.

KEENS: The new guy.

SALOMONS: Who's the new guy?

KEENS: Addidas Supernova Road.

VASQUES: I heard he's taking over Air Max Moto's weekday routes.

SALOMON: Wasn't it better when we did all the running, the good ol days.

MONTRAILS: Yeah but the gool ol'days had us losing our treads prematurely. Trail running shoes are not meant for the road remember.

NIKE ACG: Truly, our treads ain't made for this concrete and asphalt.

KEENS: Think of it this way, the more he runs on
concrete the less we have to.

SALOMONS: Do you think Rick will ever get a car
so he can drive to the trails?

NIKE ACG: I don't think so.

MONTRAILS: shhhhh...he's coming over.

SALOMONS: I think Road Shoes are Gay!

NIKE ACG: Now, now, don't be hatin'. We're all family here,
they work as hard as we do.

VASQUES: By the way Montrail just got bought by Columbia Sportswear, hot off the Ultra list press this morning.

MONTRAILS: What!?!?!?! @%+# Are you serious!

KEENS: What are you so surprised about, they ain't even
making your model type anymore.

MONTRAILS: Yep, Love us while we last.

NIKE ACG: All right everyone, that's it for today and be
nice to the new guy.

RIP, Montrail Leona Divides.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Ice and Rest.

January, February and March are the toughest months for me training wise. The last 5 years I've gotten into the habit of taking December off and by the time January comes around I'm over weight, out of shape and lazy. However once I get going, I work hard and sometimes (well most of the time) I over do it. My poor legs, fresh from vacation and carrying a little extra weight, develop little mini injuries. The ache and pain of the week, shin splints. Darn I was just reading about shin splints on Olga's blog the other day.

Well hopefully it's minor, feels minor anyway, although the last time I had shinsplints I was on low mileage, easy running for two weeks (initially I ignored them).I think it will be alright. I've got a 20-miler planned for the weekend, supposed to rain too, fun! fun! fun!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

John Paul Meim's Baptism

JP and MomJohn Paul and Mom. Click here for more photos.

Rose is my second cousin, so what is her kids to me? Nieces and nephews? And her husband Paul, is he my cousin in law? So confusing. Anyway I was in Novato Sunday for John Paul Meim's Baptism, Paul and Rose's new son. Unlike Saturday, Sunday was sunny, bright and warm - a perfect day for a baptism. It was a relatively quick ceremony, Francis and I represented Rose's side of the family and there were about 15/16 people on Paul's side. The reception was at a country club. The weather was amazing. The thought of being indoors on such a nice day did bother me a little but I had made up my mind long ago that running can't take precedent over everything.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Camera Test

Penny'sMuddyLegsClick here for the set

So this weekend I got to test out the camera. Saturday I was a volunteer at a trail race in Pacifica. I was at the start/finish line helping with the post race food and later as a sweeper. Sweepers are folks who follow behind the last runner, "sweeping" for trash, taking down marking ribbons and making sure no runner is left on the course.

I love this camera! I had it with me during sweeper duty, it's so light and small I forgot it was in my pocket. Darn thing is also user friendly, it's like the camera for dummies. It warns me when the setting is on the wrong dial, when there isn't enough light and I have to use a flash, and when a picture I took is blurry with the option of deleting the image right away. Pretty sweet. Not all the shots came out great but that was my fault. A great running camera.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Image Archives: The Rest of the Berlin Photos

TilesClick here for the whole set

Finally, I was able to upload the rest of the images. Enjoy.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Image Archives: Berlin Summer

GermanyJan-Phillip and I enjoying a glass of beer. Thanks to Jan-Phillip I never had a bad beer during my two week stay in Germany.

Two summers ago I was in Germany to visit my friends Jan-Philipp and Cathrin Mueller. What a great time. It was my first time in Europe and I loved it. It was also great to be reunited with my two friends. Jan-Philipp and Cathrin were in San Francisco for 6 months fulfilling internships in 2003. Jan-Phillip is a sound engineer and Cathrin is an attorney. I met them through church and they were also in my bible study group. We became very good friends and they invited me to visit. Unfortunately I've lost touch with them but I'll always have my memories and hopefully these pictures.

In the next day or two I will upload the whole set.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Oh Baby!

CameraMy new light and small Nikon 4600

So sweet my new digital camera arrived yesterday. Small and light, it fits easily in the palm of my hand. Since my Grand Canyon trip I've been on the hunt for a smaller and lighter camera that I can use when I'm out cycling or running. My trusty Canon A80 is just too heavy, it swung like a rock in my shorts during the Grand Canyon run.

This is an older model, refurbished Nikon point and click camera, 4 megapixels max (4 megapixels is enough to give you an 11 x 14 magazine quality print). Refurbished means that it was sent back to the company, fixed and re-released. While some folks may be squeamish about "refurbished" gear, I have no such reservations. I've had no problems with my refurbished products. I found out about it through an internet discount retailer. I was also sure to check out the reviews of the camera before purchasing - two thumbs up! The best part is that I was able to cover the cost of my new toy with a small side job. An unsavory little job really but a small sacrifice.

In a couple of months when the weather is better and I can run/hike/bike long distances, I'll be able to take pictures of the beautiful hills of Marin where I do most of my training. Plus in the summer I'll have it with me in my races. Fun, Fun, Fun.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Ohhlalala...I Like It!

KitchenClick here to see more interior shots.

So this is Jason's work. If his name sounds familiar you probably read my Grand Canyon Run report. I guess when he's not working out and chasing girls he's busy being an architect. Alright J, I was only kidding about the girls, well half-kidding. So hey check out his work. I think it's beautiful but I'm biased, I know J and I'm into this kind architecture-this type of look. This is a condo in San Francisco's SOMA district, right in front of the new ballpark. Probably gets loud during baseball season but I love that kitchen. I don't really know how to cook but if I had a kitchen that was set up like this I think I could learn how.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Cecilia just got Engaged

blog_dadayDaday and Michael in Italy. Click here to see more.

So my original plan for this blog was just to talk about the one all important thing - me. That's why it's called "365 Me" but now it has evolved into a message board for news about other folk as well. I guess it's okay, ahahaha I'm kidding, it's more than okay. I love passing news and updates from friends and family through this blog. From new babies to new engagements. My cousin Cecilia, Daday as she is more commonly known in the family, just got engaged. A nurse in London, she met Michael an American working for the US Air Force.

They were in Rome for the holidays and he asked her to marry her at the end of their trip. They are thinking of somewhere between next Christmas or next summer for the wedding. Meanwhile if all goes according to plan, she will be here soon in the US. Michael's next deployment is North Carolina. She will be leaving her sister Mai-Mai in London but will be closer to two other sister's who live in New York and New Jersey.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Florida for Christmas

dogstarClick here for the images.

Orlando, Florida is where I go to relax; home cooked meals, cable tv, playing with the dog, and catching up on reading. I enjoy visiting the family and hanging with the dog. This last trip was no different. Even in the Christmas and New Year holiday there is ample time for relaxation and rest. Here are pictures from the trip.

Monday, January 09, 2006


I'm freezing! Probably because I'm just working on my computer, in my apartment, dressed only in shorts and a T-shirt and sitting by a window. Let me check the temperature for a minute, 52° Farenheit / 11° Celsius. Quite nice actually, I just need to put on more clothes. So what does all this mean?

It's too cold to hit the water, for me anyway. Last year because I had to train for a Mid-March Half Ironman Triathlon, I was out there swimming, cycling and running. The running was not too bad I can run in any weather But I had to do these open water swims on the Bay. The water was so cold my face, hands, and feet, the exposed parts that are not covered by the wetsuit, would get so cold it stung. There are actually people who swim without wetsuits but that knowledge doesn't help me any nor does it inspire me to get out there. And check this out, I had a 6AM outdoor spin class. A spin class is basically indoor cycling but this one was outdoors, at 6AM and often it was raining. There was a roof over our heads but I had to bike to and from class. Koh...Koh...Kohld.

I need a sweater and my fuzzy animal slippers, hey they're warm.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

San Francisco Holiday Pictures!

 KelleySisters and IStephanie, Myself and Ashley at a Christmas Party. For the complete set click here.

Parties and get togethers from December 1st thru the 23rd. Another great Christmas season in San Francisco. My only regret was that I didn't have my camera with me for the run in Pt. Reyes with Stephen and JP in the early part of December. That was such a gorgeous day with amazing views.

Friday, January 06, 2006

John Paul Meim is Born!

JohnPaulJohn Paul Meim. For more images click here. Photos courtesy of Paul Meim.

My cousin Rose just recently gave birth to her second child. Her husband Paul just sent me the pics and I'm doing my part to spread the news and images. Rose, her younger sister Bing and their younger brother JM are my second cousins. I grew up with these guys and I'm quite close to them. Funny Rose and I never got a long when we were kids. I once gave her the biggest bukol (lump on her head) when I pushed a bunch of stacked poles on top of her as she passed by. Hehehe... evil I know. But now we are the greatest of friends and I can't wait to see her kids. Her eldest Iya is over a year old and is adorable. She's in a couple of the pictures.

Coming Soon...

Holiday Pictures!

Pumping Iron

I hate it! But it's necessary for the activities that I do. Primarily I have to build up my legs for all the long distance and hill running that I will be doing in the Spring, Summer and Fall. Winter is the time to rebuild, restrengthen what's broken down in those months. The time to lay down the foundation of a training program. I might even work on my back and abs too (core muscles) to prepare for the bike. On the bike, especially on long rides, the strength of your core helps tremendously. Those set of muscles are just as important as the ones that make up your legs and if they are weak you will most likely experience some back pain - I know from experience.

So I was there last night for the first time since last winter. It was actually fun. There were lots of cute girls working out, I forgot all about that. Ran into a couple of triathlete friends and spent too much time talking. Managed to get a good workout on the legs and so far so good.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

My Sweet Macs

DesktopMy iMac

Re-united with my Macs at last, I've got two of them. I missed my babys especially now that I have this blog. I was able to post but not prepare images for posting. Have you noticed? Pictures are back! Who wants to see text only entries? Even newspapers have pictures. See those white cone shaped things? one of them emitting a green light, those are my new JBL creature speakers. A great buy, my music sounds so much better now, previously I was running a cord from the computer to my 13yr. old receiver. This is so much better plus the color matches my setup. I listen to podcasts and music while I work, helps with the deafening sound of silence.

Mom, I will post the Florida pictures soon, I know you're waiting for them. Soon as I go through, edit and color correct the pictures I will post them. (My mother requested that I take pictures of my Christmas vacation and post them on the blog, something about making sure I got pictures of the house, the Christmas lights, the yard....)

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Goodbye Sunshine. Hello Fog and Rain.

RainyNewDayThe gray view from my apartment

On a plane bound for San Francisco (this is a re-type). It was a gawd awful early 6AM flight again out of Orlando, this time to Chicago O'Hare to catch a SF bound flight. This is the downside to booking late and using Cheap Tickets.

Anyway I'm 20 minutes into the in-flight movie called "Just like Heaven" with Mark Ruffalo and Reese Witherspoon. I love it already because it takes place in San Francisco. I love my city and I enjoy seeing it in movies, television and photographs. More often than not I enjoy coming home.

So the forecast is rain, fog and wind. Funny I already felt like I was home in Chicago, they had the same weather.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

The Season is On!

Goodness gracious is it really the first day of the new year. The first day of the new "season". Time to shake off the cobwebs and get this physical machine moving again. Wake up! Wake up! sleepy legs.

Just in time my new book, a second present from the family, came in the mail yesterday. The title's a mouthful; The Fourth Edition of The Lore of Running by Tim Noakes MD. It astounds me to this day how amazingly complicated running is for an activity that "seems" so easy to get into. Just put on a pair of running shoes and run right? wrong! That will work only for a little while before you encounter issues the need to be addressed. To be a successful runner, one who enjoys longevity and pleasure from the sport, you have to be, among other things; a mechanic, a doctor, a counselor, a motivational speaker, a drill instructor and a student. Anyway what a great book. I was busy reading the "overtraining" section, how to avoid, diagnose and recover from the syndrome. I'm not going to go over the tedious details but for you athletes out there, you know what I'm talkng about. I bet the word itself brought a wince from deep down. I've suffered a mild version of it every year for the last 4 years and always towards the end of the year when it all catches up to me. It came early this past year and that was painful. Maybe this new year will be different.

So it's time for me to lace up the running shoes and put a couple of miles in the hard pavement. Not the best surface but readily available here in Orlando, Florida. Time to start a new tradition, the New Year run. It's going to hurt, the first few usually do. But these first few miles will be the foundation of a training program that I hope will net me finishes some good finishes, chief of which is the frequently mentioned "Western States 100" in June.

Here's to a fresh year. Less whining more working.

New Year's Top Ten Resolutions

Ah another year and another list. So here is my contibution. I would like to add that my sister Melissa was a huge help. I couldn't have done it without here. Actually it's mostly hers. So in no particular order here they are.

01 Run sideways
02 Have less underwear
03 Turn more knobs
04 Hug more trees
05 Look more sarcastic
06 Clean more under the rug
07 Wear more stripes
08 Run over more speed bumps
09 Be more unconvincing
10 Wave more flags

and another set of 10 for good measure

11 Handle fragile things more vigorously
12 Use more whiteout
13 Scream gently
14 Get more rug burn
15 Wear more camouflage
16 Pet more cows
17 Look obvious in hidden places
18 Hand out more lotion
19 Party like a baby
20 Cut more sleeves