Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Image appropriated from SFGate.com

The Winter Olympics was a lot of fun and now I'm having withdrawals. No athletes to keep me company at night. Ah well... Life always seems a little bit boring when something great that you're really into goes by. That there is Julia Mancuso, my favorite gold medalist of the games. Not because she's cute or because she's from Squaw Valley, California. It's because she seems like a nice, happy, down to earth girl who kept on fighting despite disappointments for most of the games. Finally on her last event and her best she pulled through. Most inspirational would have to go to Sasha Cohen. She was leading heading into the long program for figure skating. On the first jump she fell and stumbled on the second. I don't know how she did it but she kept her composure and finished strong - ended up with Silver. On the slowmo cam they showed her going down, no change in facial features-none! Game face on all the way down and through the program, damn that's focus. I'll keep that moment in mind when things don't go my way. Julia Mancuso and Sasha Cohen for the 2006 running season!

Elly's Got New Sneakers

Bike's New Sneakers

Elly is my road bike, it's really eleu [eh leh-(y)oo], Hawiian for fast, nimble, swift and lively - of course all that describes the bike and not me. I may show signs of those attributes now and then while running but almost never on the bike. Anyway the old tires were getting old so I had to replace them, I put in about a couple thousand miles on them. Don't let the racing stripe yellow fool you, it's still a training tire - thick, heavy with treads. They should have been on a week earlier but the first time I bought the tires I only bought one, imagine my surprise one weekday afternoon.

However, now there's seems to be a problem with the front brakes. They sound awful and a lot of uneccessary vibrations. Jason A. thinks it's cause my brakes are dirty and the rims are damaged from previous debris getting between the brake pad and the rim. You know if it's not one thing it's another. Well at least it's not my body that's breaking down but the equipment. In runnning your body is the machine and when something breaks it's usually you - at least in sports like cycling you get to split the wear and tear with your equipment. And as they say "cycling is a low impact sport", to which I add "provided you don't hit or get hit by something".

Quick side story before I go and I promise it's got something to do with equipment and Hawaii. My Sophomore year at the University of Hawaii I met John from the island of Kauai. An avid bodyboarder (boogie boarder). He was quite good too and would paddle out on the big breaks at the North Shore with the surfers. One day he was telling me how he took a tumble coming down a wave. The wave was large enough that it sucked a lot of the water in front of it leaving only a couple of feet of depth from the reef below. When John saw this he immediately twisted his body to protect his board from impact. So naturally I asked "why the hell did you do that" and he answered "bodies heal, boards don't". Crazy but true. In any case I'm not one to talk. I once saved a whole bottle of beer as I took a tumble walkind down drunk in North Beach, not a single drop was spilled from my 40 and I got applause from those present. What was I doing drunk with a 40 in public, well that's a story for another day. Rest assured it was a long, long, time ago. But I digress...Anyway John was great a person, like most of the people that I met from the island of Kauai. I hope he's still not doing that now, he should be able to afford a new stinking boogie board by now.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Wet and Happy

2_26_06_Rodeo Beach Run
awwww! happy shiny people on a drizzly day

Now here are some happy folks. No need to see another mug of me but I was definitely one of the happy people. Just like last week J.P. swung by my apartment at 9AM so we could do our pre-run workout before joining the team at 11AM for the group run. Pre-run went really well. It was a bit cold and the skies were threatening but no rain. A good solid workout. Got back to the parking lot 5 minutes to 11 and there were a bunch of folks already milling about. I was positive we were only going to get a handful of people because of the weather and the hilly route but I was wrong. We had 30 people show up! It was great!

Our route took us to the top of a ridge where we took in the magnificient views as we ran along the top. Even though the skies were dark and cloudy it was clear at sea level, no fog. Eventually we came down the other side, ran parallel to the ridge on the valley floor before cutting right again to go back over the ridge and back to the parking lot. It rained on and off during our run but everyone seemed well prepared, shells and hats everywhere. After the run, despite the drizzle, people hung out for snacks and H20 at the parking lot. Afterwards about 12 of us went ahead and had a proper post race meal at the Dipsea Cafe afterwards. Oh it felt great. Nothing like a good butt kicking workout and then hanging out with food afterwards.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Dear Olga

Jason and I in Tiburon (Angel Island behind us)

While you were out busting your butt at the Hagg Lake 50k today, Jason and I were enjoying a leisurely bike ride on the bay - and we didn't even start until after lunch! Anyway we were thinking about you and the upcoming AR50 race. We would love to pace if you want the company. We were thinking of employing a leap frog method, taking turns every couple of aid stations. This way you won't wear us out too much and we won't need a ride back to the car. Heck might as well get a workout in while spectating.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Bike Ride Scenery: Strawberry Hill Tiburon

Strawberry Hill

I had to circle back for this one. Wouldn't it be nice to live here. By the water's edge, overlooking San Francisco. More sun, less hustle and bustle. Only a few minutes away from good cycling and running routes. It would be nice. However, if you think San Francisco is expensive, it's downright unaffordable here. Still nice to bike through though. Tomorrow, I'll pass through here on my ride.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Conversation with Mom

Mom: Hey I've been following your blog and oh I like those
places you run in.

Me: Oh nice. Yeah it's great out there.

Mom: Why didn't you ever take me there?

Me: err...Well some of those places you have to hike in to.

Mom: You know what though, some of those places look desolate...
I mean there's no people there, doesn't look safe. I think you need
something to protect yourself.

Me: Desolate? huh...what?...

Mom: There's no one out there.

Me: Oh there are people there; hikers, mountain bikers,
picknickers, there's people...

Mom: I think you need to carry MACE...you know for the
animals and people.

Me: Huh? No, there's people there and it's safe for the most part.
If I was a girl I wouldn't be venturing out there by myself but I'm a
dirty smelly guy.

Mom: I still think you should carry MACE. They have models that are
small enough, they fit nicely in your palm.

Me: ummm...no I'll pass. Seriously no MACE.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Hurts so Good!

This past week I've been whining about "dead legs" because the week before I got ambitious and tackled 32 or so miles for my long run. I survived but I was left with "pooped" legs and that was no fun. Working with weights was a drag and running was an even bigger drag. Spinning was disappointing because my legs would get sore and tired before my heart rate could reach it's appointed targets. Luckily I was smart enough to back off right away, cut down my mileage. I also did some reading. I have Tim Noakes M.D.'s the Lore of Running, a christmas present from the family. Oh you know..., reviewing proper training, reading all about over training and bad training mistakes, stuff like that...light reading:)

So anyway the boys are back, in fact they were already feeling better by Sunday. Tonight I did a light jog to the YMCA, it's 2.5 miles from my apartment. Did a tempo workout on the treadmill for half an hour and did some weight training. Felt so good. In fact on the weights I was able to lift higher loads, ain't that grand. Then I did a slow jog back to the apartment. Good workout. Thursday I'm looking forward to hitting my numbers again in Spin class. Overall I think I'm going to start incorporating treadmill workouts again. Treadmill workouts are so boring to me now but the surface is softer, I can track my speed and resistance accurately, the mirror in front let's me check my form and the treadmills in the YMCA have built in heart rate monitors. The treadmill picked up the signals from my chest strap, I had a reading of my heart rate on both the machine and my watch - convenient!

Anti-Valentine's Day Dinner

Anti-Valentine Dinner
Mmmm....good home cooked food!

What a great idea. This day last week a friend from church decided to hold an anti-Valentine's day dinner for all his single friends (he's engaged). I certaintly am not against Valentine's day but I am enthusiastic about spending time with friends over good food and a glass or two of good red vino. More power to our couples I say, but we singles can celebrate too!

Dinner was at 7PM followed by a movie - Aliens 2, no romantic comedies for this group. Hahaha it was great. Brandon had a projector and projected the movie onto the living room wall, he even brought his own speakers. We had about 12/13 people. It's kind of crazy though when I think about it. Besides Brandon everyone there was single; successful, young, active, Christian men and women. An outsider looking in would say, "well, why don't they hook up with each other?". Heck I'm saying that, "why don't these people get together?". Truly a mystery. Don't look at me, I was just there for the food and entertainment.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Running with JP

Action shot courtesy of JP, from yesterday's trail run.

Is like running with your own personal photographer. Once he sees a nice spot he'll run ahead and snap a picture. If this continues I'll have a bunch to send to all my fans...hehehe...I mean family. Maybe this is the year I do one of those photo Christmas cards. Definitely a coffee mug for mom.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Scratching the Social Interaction Itch

2_19_06_Kentfield Run
After run stretch

These Sunday trail runs have become a great outlet for social interaction, something that has been missing in my schedule so far this year. I spend far too much time alone. I work at home 9-6, most of my workouts are done solo, so by the end of the week I'm just dying to get out and interact with people. Running is great because you can actually talk. You can't really talk in an indoor spin class and it's not advisable in group bike rides.

Today's run was a flat 5.6 miler with an option for some hill work for those that wanted it. JP and I actually got there an hour before and ran 45 minutes on the course before heading back to meet the group. It was another good turnout, we had about 16-17 people. I was worried that not a lot of people were going to show up because of the threat of rain and the colder than usual temperatures. There was also a cycling time trial in San Francisco that featured top domestic and international riders, definitely a big draw. Well it never did rain and towards the end of the run the sun even came out. Afterwards ten of us went out to lunch. Like last week I got to meet more people from the club and had a great time. Without any YMCA commitments this year I can put more time in my triathlon club.

I've also decided to join the track workouts a month early. I've never done them, ever. I heard they're a good workout and a lot of fun. I plan to join the group in March. The Thursday night Spin classes have been a blessing so far and a butt kicker, not talking though, work! work! work! get those heart rates up! Sadly Church has for the moment ceased to be a real factor in my social life but that's a topic for another day.

Here's to making more friends for 2006.

Winter Olympics

I am addicted to the Olympics. I can't get enough of it. Earlier today I wheeled the TV in front of the kitchen so I could hear/watch the television while I scrubbed the kitchen floor. Hockey was on, I don't even normally watch hockey. It's so exciting, just something amazing watching these thoroughbreds, champions against champions. Well it's now 45 minutes past midnight and I really must hit the hay. Got a run tomorrow. Going to bed inspired, even though my legs are dead. I've got a case of dead legs, I think I was a little too ambitious last week with that 32/34 miler. Rain scheduled for tomorrow...mmm...mud. I wonder if I'll see Mr. Jason A. tomorrow for that run.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Aborted Rant

Oh I was just going to rant at how cold it has been the last 2 or 3 days. How running in 45 degree weather has been so cold and how today's temperatures came with rain. It's cold, my face and ears tell me it's cold. I'm actually running with gloves and use my extra long shorts. I was going to go on and on about this until I visited a friend's blog. She had to deal with 18 degree weather and an early morning to boot. I'm not going to name names but if you're a regular on this blog I think you'll know who she is. Rant about the weather officially aborted!

60 Posts and Going

You know when I first created this blog it was originally going to be all about my running and triathlon stories, that's why the web urls says "365ultra", in reference to the sport of ultra-marathoning. I quickly realized however that I would alienate the very people I created the blog for, my family and relatives. You see they don't exercise. Sad but true. So I changed my mind and decided it was going to be a blog about me as a whole and that's why the site is titled "365me". That said looking back it seems like all I've been writing about is running, biking and how beautiful the bay area is for training. How much more of that can you guys take, how many more pictures of the bay can you see? I mean I love it, like a father loves a child he can't get enough of but I don't expect the same for everyone. So from here on out I will endeavor to balance all my running/triathlon stories with...well other stories. Starting right now.





ok I guess we're done here.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Golden Gate Triathlon Club Trail Runs


That's a mouthful but yes our Triathlon club has resumed it's weekend trail runs with J.P. Sulpizio at the helm. Our first run was this past Sunday. I was sore and a bit tired from Saturday's run but I wasn't going to miss this one. Last year it was in one of these runs that I met Jason A, J.P. and eventually through them Stephen. I also met Annie who I later became my occasional cycling and running partner. It's a good place to make friends while being engaged in my favorite activity.

We had about 15 people. The options were 4, 5, or 8 miles. I went on the 5 and I was dying on the uphill but regained my composure on the flats and the eventually downhill. Seemed like everyone had fun. Kristin the Swim director was there taking pictures. We even had a guy from MetroSport, a local running store, who came with some electrolyte drinks and GU for some post run refreshments. After packing it up J.P. and I had lunch at the Dipsea Cafe, I'd never been so I was game. Place was packed. Met more of J.P.'s friends, folks from the club who were out earlier doing their own training.

Learned a good lesson on Sunday too. Coming down fast on the last downhill back to the finish, I lost my footing with my right foot. I didn't fall, in fact at the time it seemed like nothing. I caught myself quickly but for a split second there my entire weight moving forward rested on my left leg. I think that little slip strained my left quad, which was already worn out from the day before. I woke up the next morning with a swollen left thigh and an inability to walk without limping, I found this out while making a post office run. Fortunately I'm fine now. After a couple of days rest I was able to resume my training. I imagine it will take a bit longer though before I'm 100% down there. A lesson for the future...don't go hard the day after a long training run, no matter how fun it is. No macho antics of trying to keep up with the lead runners or chasing after the cute girls:)

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Flashback Weather

It's a bright sunny day but the air is quite cold, by Bay Area standards anyway. My cab driver today told me about ice on his windshield this morning that he had to scrape off. You should have met him, he made my day. Older Russian guy with a thick accent who knew some Filipino. Cracked me up. Not only that but he got me to my destination utilizing fast shortcuts, that was much appreciated, but I digress...I think we hit as low as the high 20's last night. News said something about cold air from Canada. Speaking of which I do hope our Hockey teams does better this year against them but yet I digress again...Anyway days like this makes me want to put on my trail shoes and head for the hills. It's like excercising in an air conditioned room, you get to have it both ways; a sunny day and cool temperatures. Now for the flashback part.

Thinking about this reminded me of my freshmen year in the University of Hawaii, back then I worked in the records department part-time. Our schedule was very flexible because they just assumed we had our classes and school related stuff to take care of. I usually came in the afternoons and I would have always have the radio on. Transferring old records from microfiche to the "Wang" computers was an extremely boring process. Anyway one afternoon the news broadcasted the coming of new swells to the west side of the Island, perfect waves for surfing they exclaimed. In ten minutes I was on my way home. In another half hour I was out on the rocks with my boogie board and fins, about to join all the other folks who had gotten out early to take advantage of the surf. In Hawaii the weather is almost always great but good surf is harder to come by. Everyone on the beach was in a good mood. Some kids remarked how the day was interrupted for a couple of hours by a shark that had wandered in. Everyone got out for a couple hours. It must have been during lunch because from what I saw everyone was back in:) Although once I got in the water I wished I had a surfboard, at least those guys have their legs out of the water and travel much faster on the surface. We don't have Great White sharks in the islands but we do have the next terrible thing - the Tigershark.

Nevertheless I had a great time, fear left after the first wave. Back then I couldn't imagine ever leaving the islands or having a lifestyle other than the one I had. My attitude and outlook back then is no different from the one I have now for the Bay Area. Hmm...something to ponder about. Great, like there isn't enough in my head already!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

To Muir Beach and Back

Shot of Rodeo Beach, looking back towards San Francisco.
Journey with me to Muir Beach.

You know endurance sports is truly an excercise in patience. Training with patience, building slowly and surely. You can never really rush these things. It is true however that the more experienced you are the faster you are able to build up. There are changes that doesn't go away after an extended period of rest. That said I finally broke the 31-Mile/50k mark with a run of 32-34 miles this past Saturday. It was great to be back in Marin! Ramping up faster than in past years. The spin classes and weight training in addition to the runs has really helped.

So journey with me on my long run to Muir Beach and back. Got a few photos with notes attached. It was a late start as usual, still had a pillow head as I left the house at 11:30AM :). Ran into some friends on the trail, even ran with some ultra-marathon gals who were out on their training run. These were folks I recognized from the races. It was another beautiful day and unlike the day before, no fog in the afternoon. It took longer than I expected what with the talking, picture taking and playing with dogs but the end result was the same - me spent and dragging myself back to my apartment. I wasn't the only the only one that was spent however. My mp3 player ran out of power 2 miles from home and my digital camera ran out of juice while my neighbor was taking a picture of my dirty self. Kind of like an "I"m finished" picture. Shucks, maybe next time.

Monday, February 13, 2006

2005 Presidio YMCA Run Team Reunion

YMCA Run LogoClick here for the photos.

It was the first and, at least for now, the last organized running group for the Presidio YMCA. Coach Matt had accepted a new position at a fitness club and won't be able to continue coaching the team. Ah well the good times never last forever anyway, time to make new ones. LastFriday night was our reunion/last hurrah.

The location was Coach Matt's favorite date place:), Rohan, a bar/restaurant with a live dj spinning tunes. A little too loud for my taste but it was dark and cozy. I was well behaved if I may say so myself, nursed a glass of red for most of the night until I switched to water. With my long run the following morning I made sure to keep the alcohol consumption down. No greasy appetizers either!

It was great to see the old gang, not everyone made it but that's usually the case anyway. Most of these guys ran their first half and full marathon under the program last year. As a mentor and assistant coach I ran with them during the week and played water boy for them during their Sunday long runs. Sometimes I would join them but I was usually too sore from my long runs on Saturday. Besides who wants to run on all road stuff. Anyway it was a great and fun experience.

Need a New Leg

Anyone out there have a spare left leg. My left one doesn't seem to be working properly.


Sunday, February 12, 2006

Another Great Weekend!

Summer in February

Wow another great one. We are having a bit of summer weather here in San Francisco, a week's worth so far in the middle of February. Everyone is stoked well maybe not the skiers, snowboarders and the ski resort industry. We'll be back to that soon enough. A guy we were running with today had his flight to New York cancelled because of snow storms, yikes.

Anyway stories and pictures to follow. Let's just say I'm darker, my legs are wobbly, the freezer is less full and the bar across the street has more of my money.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Everyone this is Olga

Click Here!
That's Olga in the center. Yes the one in shorts. In the beautiful Pacific Northwest - Oregon.

After a long and exhausting day I decided to bail on my planned evening run. It wasn't even that long but I was feeling lazy. I had a long run planned for Saturday anyway so I thought it would be fine. Well I was definitely starting to settle in with the decision until I logged on to Olga's site and saw this pic. Doesn't this look fun!!! I was immediately inspired.

So I went out and had myself a great time under a full moon. Even though the fog had returned the evening sky was clear.


Friday, February 10, 2006

Dear Olga

Can I link to your "running in the snow" picture?
I'd like to show it to the folks here.
I didn't have your email but I know you visit...hehehe

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Real Thing


Ever had fruit rollups? Candy that's supposed to be derived from fruit, comes in flat sheets and stuck on wax or plastic - you pull them out and roll them up. Well this is the real deal. Actual banana's, flattened...mmmm...flat bananas. It's actually not bad good there's no added ingredients. No added sugar, syrup or salt. All natural. I got these at Trader Joe's, these are the guys who also sell dried mangoes that doesn't have added sugar in them. Dunno if I would pack it in a run but definitley a desk item.

They do need a better name for the product though. Something that rolls off the tongue.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Bike Ride Scenery: Tiburon Park

Tiburon Park

You know it is a hassle to stop what I'm doing just to take a picture, it ruins my rhythm and I feel like a tourist. However good pictures are worth it. While they are only a pale comparison to the real thing, they are still worth sharing and they're priceless on days like this when I'm stuck at my desk working. I spend 10-12 hours a day chained to my computer, more when the schedule is crazy.

So this is Tiburon. If you know where to look you'll see the tops of the Golden Gate Bridge, hills of Sausalito and the city of San Francisco. Like the bridge I never get bored of this view.

Sunday, February 05, 2006



My friend Jason just got sponsored by Aquaphor. Seems like a pretty sweet deal. They'll give him Cycling and Running Gear and I think he also gets paid for Triathlon and Running races that he enters. However he's still not quite sure what Aquaphor is. Well Jason, this is the product. I got these from races I've done.

Rose and Family

Rose Last Dinner
Click here for more photos.

Mom here are the pictures from Rose and family's last dinner. They left for Manila last Saturday and I'll see them again in July when I come and visit.

Friday, February 03, 2006

A Day of Pleasant Surprises

Gifts from Wendell and Sarah from Pacific Coast Trail Runs

Good surprises are fun aren't they, I got four today. Seems like today I am especially blessed. I'll tell you about three of them.

First surprise was a package from Pacific Coast Trail Runs - Wendell and Sarah. They mailed me a running shirt (Dri-Release Synthetic Fabric) and a letter of thanks for volunteering 3 weeks ago at one of their events. I posted a report about it and you can read that post here. I guess they really appreciated the help. I feel bad though, it wasn't entirely an unselfish act. Honestly, I needed the volunteer hours. A race I'm running this summer requires that I perform 8 hours of trail/volunteer work. On top of all this, PCTR gives a free entry to one their events when you volunteer. So basically I got to fulfill my volunteer requirement, receive a quality running shirt (my size too), a letter of appreciation and a free entry to a future race with PCTR. I would also like to add that while I was volunteering I was well fed. Anway a quick word about PCTR, it's a quality organization. Run by trail runners for trail runners. Wendell and Sarah regularly enter races as well as organizing them. Their young son Aaron, himself a runner, is a fixture in the events. They have also done a great job including the non-ultra marathoning community, most of their events offer several distance options.

Second surprise was from my friend Ashley. I got a letter from her filled with pictures from a Triathlon we did together. You should see the envelope and stationery, it's pink with pink roses going around with specially cut edges. It's so cheesy, it's got a girly grandmotherly feel to it. The stationery could double as a doily. So not at all like her. Ash is a rough and tumble kind of kid, the kind of girl that gets muddy and dirty with the boys. Anyway the funny thing is that it was an event from like two years ago. She didn't even take them, she was too busy kickin' my butt. "Oh I won't do well today, I haven't been training" YEAH RIGHT!

Third was an email from a former training partner. It's been over a year since I spoke to Lisa. We started running late 2003 and continued through 2004. She was getting back into marathons then and wanted someone to train with. I knew her from church and we were in the same bible study group. She was a track and cross country runner in college. Our running clicked right away because we found out that we ran a similar pace. No I'm not quick, she just slowed down from her college days. She was the best and our friendship got tighter on those runs. We even ended up running a marathon together. It was a personal best for the both of us. That summer I shared my dream of running my first 100-mile race and completing my first Ironman. She thought I was crazy but supported me anyway. She also listened to all my crazy rants about girls. But in October she found out she was pregnant, had to deal with major issues, we were no longer running and hung out less and less. One day we just stopped talking to each other and that was that. I got tired of her flakiness, not sure what it was for her on her side - one day became a week, weeks became months....until tonight. I was out training and when I got back there was her email complete with a photo of her son, now 8 months old. Crazy....I have been thinking/wondering about her. Next month she's going to marry the father of her child. I wish them the best.

So all this in one day, one would have been enough but I got four. Sorry I can't share about the fourth, if it makes you feel any better it's nothing as great as the ones I've already shared. Wow now I'm inspired to reach out pay it forward.