Monthly Archives: February 2013

Running without music might actually be good for you

So for tonight’s run I went sans motivational music.  I was worried that I’d have trouble maintaining my pace without the invigorating strains of East Versus West and Through the Fire blaring through my ears, but I actually feel like I did a better job of being consistent across all eight intervals (a feeling that is substantiated by the actual data).

Run route with bonus pace graph . . . just cause
Run route with bonus pace graph . . . just cause

My interval laps were pretty even (for me):

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I’m going to go back and compare my last couple 8 x 400’s.  What I’m looking for is the performance in my 12th laps.  I noticed tonight that lap number 12 starts off with a 100m or so of the “steepest” incline that I have on the route and then goes flat.  I pushed to maintain my pace on the incline and was totally gassed on the flat.  I feel like that lap has been off pace on other nights.  If so it’s a sad commentary on my hill running condition right now.  I may have to get out of town from time to time and hit a couple of big bumps.

Also, this.

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84 felt like 91 at seven o’clock at night in the pitch black in the last week of February.  Remind me to NEVER, EVER run in the daylight here.



Jomtien Beach run in pictures

On Sunday (?) I decided to mix things up a little bit and try a different run route.  Unfortunately I picked a busy beachfront road on a holiday weekend because I lack common sense and critical thinking skills.  The traffic – both vehicular and pedestrian – and the fact that I was stopping to snap pictures really kept me from getting into a good rhythm and the run felt way harder than it should have.  In fact I only did ~45 minutes of what was going to be a 60-minute run.

The search for a decent run route anywhere near my home continues.  As a reminder here is the map shot fromGarmin Connect of the route:Screen shot 2013-02-26 at 11.14.17 PM

This run (red route) was along a beach that is south of the beach road where I start 99.9% of my run routes (green arrow and circle).

Here are a few pics I snapped along the way (click on any picture for a larger version . . . I think.  I’m still learning how this blog platform works . . .).

The beaches in Pattaya are completely overrun with powerboats and jet skis.  Some of the power boats take passengers to the offshore islands but a lot of them tow these inflatable tubes behind them and make sharp turns to dump their riders.  They are wildly popular.


Usually there are 6-8 people per banana thingy.


Mobile food vendors are everywhere in Pattaya but especially along the beach front roads.  This set up – a charcoal grill sidecar bolted onto a two-stroke scooter is the most common.  It’s the New-York-City-hot-dog-cart of Thailand.  This guy was selling balls of meat and dried cuttlefish.  Both are very common and popular street food in Pattaya.



Now these guys are the high end food trucks of Thailand.  I don’t know how they’d fare on The Great Food Truck Race but they prep and cook while they’re moving and sell just about the freshest seafood you can get, among other things.



This is how they get all the power boats and jet skis in and out of the water.  That tractor pulls them up and then starts double and triple parking the trailered watercraft along the main beach access road until their owners are good and ready to take them away.  Traffic in Thailand is a little frustrating.


These are small fishing boats.  Usually one or two man operations they troll around offshore and sell most of their catch to the restaurants and mobile food carts and trucks right along the beach.


This Mad Max looking thing is how they haul the fishing boats up onto the beach.  The picture doesn’t show it well but that’s a Kubota diesel engine rigged to a winching wheel that has a one inch hawser on it.  The run the rope down to the water, hook it to the bow of the boat and let ‘er rip until the boat is up against the sea wall.  Oh, and the whole diesel engine-winch thingamajig is built onto a Honda scooter sidecar.  I should have grabbed a picture from the other side too but I was on the move.


Finally, here’s a lovely self portrait, taken at arms length and in full stride.  I clearly need to focus on keeping my mouth shut during self portrait time.





Blink and you might miss it . . .

I had a max effort pushup test on the docket for today.  Went down to the gym, warmed up thoroughly.  Carefully arranged my iPhone using some dumbbells as props.  Got myself lined up just right to capture my test on video.  I figure this was good to a) check my form and b) double check my count since I tend to lose my basic arithmetic functions when doing pushups since all the blood gets squeezed out of my brain and my face turns purple.  Ready? 

Here we go:

So you may have noticed that there were no pushups in that video.  That was actually a video of me picking up my phone and realizing that I failed to turn on the recording when I went to do the pushups.  Yeah.

As a result I don’t have an accurate count of how I tested out.  But I can figure out a reasonable approximation.  I know I did 45-50 in the first chunk; then I rested and did a set of 10; I may have done another set of 10 but I doubt it; I know I did a set of 7, at least two sets of 5 and at least 3 sets of 3.  At the very end I did a couple couples (heh, heh) and a couple singles.  Conservative estimate: 85.  Top end estimate?  Broke 90.  I’m pretty happy with that.  I’ll go through week 6 of the program and then do a final test and see where I am.

[Amusingly, YouTube offered several options to “optimize” and “improve” the video quality when I uploaded it.  Talk about polishing a turd . . .]

Workout for Monday, 25 February

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Another nice easy swim workout.  I’m not going to mess with my swim programming for a while.  I have other, funner fish I want to fry.  So these workouts are going to remain boring, active semi-recovery days.

And as a bonus here’s a really pretty chart that I am someday going to take the time to learn what it’s trying to tell me.

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Workout for Sunday, 24 February

This was supposed to be a 60-minute run but I picked a miserable place to go run and so only lasted 45-minutes.  Plus I was pausing occasionally to snap photos so I never got into a really solid rhythm.  I’ll do a post showing some of the photos from the run later this week.

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I don’t know how long that weather information has been on Garmin Connect.  I’ve never noticed it before but it’s pretty neat.

Workout for Saturday, 23 February

I skipped my cardio again today.  Did the push-up workout though.  It was a rough one.

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I gave myself and extra 30-seconds of rest before the final set of 50.  I would have taken ANOTHER 30, but I wasn’t fast enough pushing the button and the timer ended so I went with it. Even with that I had to take a break at 27.  Got up on my knees, swung my arms a few times and took a couple deep breaths and then went back to work.

Next scheduled workout is a best effort test.  Last test was 75.  Not sure how much improvement I’ll see this time, but I guess that’s what the test is for right?

Workout for Friday, 22 February

8 x 400m intervals, the standard.  Standard route.  I moderated my pace.  It was slower but more consistent.

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Not sure what happened on split number twelve.  It was almost entirely “uphill” as much as that term can be used here.  I’ll include the elevation chart of my run below to demonstrate the significance of that qualification.

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Trust me.  When you’re running it there are uphill parts.  Really.

Workout for Thursday, 21 February

Week 6, Day 2 of Hundred Pushups.  Challenging.

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I have one more day of the program and then another test day.  I think that I’ll do better than the 75 on my last test, but I have my doubts about doing 100.  We shall see . . .

Willfully and willingly took a day off of cardio.  I was feeling a little tired and fatigued.  (Those are different things, right?)  Should have been intervals but I’ll make them up tomorrow.