Category Archives: Running

Running in Bangkok – Lumpini Park and environs

So way back in the beginning of March I went up to Bangkok for a four day seminar for work.  We stayed right in the heart of downtown at the very fancy Hyatt Grand Erawan Hotel.  I actually managed to squeeze out enough motivation to do a couple workouts while I was up there and one of them was a run down to and around Lumpini Park.

I’ve been to Bangkok a bunch of times and I’ve walked around or through Lumpini at least twice for sightseeing purposes.  It is always full of people exercising (running, biking, walking, weight training, fitness circuits, and more) so I was really excited that the Hyatt was just up the road from Lumpini.  So one evening after training I laced up my sneaks and headed out with my camera.

(Note: This post is just a sight seeing expedition with all the interesting pictures I took on the run.  I posted the actual workout data back on the day of the run in this post.)

Here’s a close up satellite shot of the park:

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Continue reading Running in Bangkok – Lumpini Park and environs

Two days in a row

I shouldn’t be this excited considering I worked out first thing in the morning for . . . oh . . . about 14 years of my life.  But considering I don’t have a single workout partner or any form of external influence to “encourage” me to do so nowadays I’m significantly proud that I once more got up early and worked out BEFORE work.

It is fantastic to come home after work and have the evening completely free and not have to force yourself to muster the mental energy to get out the door and workout.

Here’s all what I did before the sun came up today:

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I’m feeling really strong on the pushups.  This workout for example only called for 50 reps in the last set.  Did 57.  No ‘pike’ resting either.  I took one or two quick breathing breaks in the plank position but for the most part just knocked them out.  Solid.

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Wasn’t feeling really strong for this run.  Could have been the time of morning.  Could have been the cycling the previous day (always hard on the legs).  Really just wanted to slog through at a slow trot, but I scrolled through the custom workouts on my Garmin and decided to knock out this 30s hard/30s easy run.  It was not fun.

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 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, 2 February

Today was my second Hundred Pushups workout.  I forgot to grab a screen cap of the workout but if I recall correctly it was something like this:

  • 20
  • 25
  • 15
  • 15
  • 25

For a total of 100 pushups.  Each set had a 90-second rest interval.  So far the program is pretty easy.  We’ll have to see how it ramps up.

Next was a run.  I decided to mix it up today for two reasons: 1) variety in training is good and 2) I was in a hurry and didn’t want to spend 40-minutes out on the road.  Good enough right?

Luckily it was a hard effort run day.  It’s a lot easier to adjust your time factor and still get the workout you want on a hard day than on an easy day.  On an easy day, less time means less distance.  No way around it.  But with a hard day you can be creative.  I wasn’t that creative since I just did a 2x1600m interval with a warm up, cool down and 200m recovery interval in between, but at least it was something different but still relevant to my goal.

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Obviously, my second 1600m wasn’t as strong as the first.  Part of that was fitness, part was poor strategy.  I think I should have gone a little easier during my recovery period in order to maximize my effort during the hard legs.  I really like this workout for the longer sustained effort it requires.  I think that 1600m intervals are great for training my mind to the difficulty of a 2-mile run effort.

[Note: I realize that posting the maps is fairly pointless at this point since I run the EXACT SAME ROUTE every time but I’m just getting in the habit because my hope is to start mixing up my run locations so I have a neat collection of maps and even getting some elevation changes in there so I can justifiably post the elevation profiles of my runs too.]

Workout for Thursday, 31 January

Short, 30-minute jog today in the Five Fingers.  My feet and calves are feeling it.  I am not as used to running in those things as I was four months ago.

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I really, really, REALLY can’t wait until I live somewhere that has more than one viable running route available from my place of residence.  I am getting extraordinarily tired of the scenery and traffic on my current route.

But, the more exciting note for today is this:


That’s right.  I did a pushup.  More precisely, I did 80 pushups in five sets, separated by a minute.  One of these days I’ll do a post just about the app that is shown above, but suffice it to say (for now) that today was the first day of my quest for 100 consecutive pushups.

Which is the first day of my renewed quest for the 375.  Pushups and pushup motivation are the big rock to be crushed in this equation (shhh, don’t think about the metaphor, just keep going, it’s okay) so for now, I’m going to start doing pushups.  Saturday, I’ll be doing 100 of them (not consecutively).

Workout for Tuesday, 29 January

Old Faithful (with a twist): 8 x 400m w/200m recovery intervals, but the fourth and eighth intervals were at a faster target pace and there was a 2:00 minute moving recovery interval after the fourth 400m.

I hit all my interval target paces pretty consistently.  It took me until this workout to get my feel for my pace back.  Now that I know where I stand I can start dialing up the intensity a little bit.

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Workout for Friday, 25 January

The accomplishment of today’s workout made me feel like a badass.  Not how I performed, or the feeling when I finished (although it’s always a good feeling).  No, this time getting started made me feel like a badass.  More than usual even.

Why?  Because I overcame golden excuses to bail out.  I motivated myself to go for my run, got down to the spot along the road where I usually warm up and found out that my Garmin was dead.  Boom.  Excuse to turn around and go home.

Instead, I pulled my phone out of my Spibelt and downloaded MapMyRide.  Now, I’d had this app on my phone previously, so I had an account already, but I’d never used it so I deleted it a while back.  Now, I put it back on my phone, logged in and for the first time ever I used it to track a workout.  Boom.  Excuse eliminated.

So I put my phone away, fired up my bluetooth headphones and took off with MapMyRide running.  Aaaannnnnd before going 600m I promptly found that my planned run route was flooded.  Four to six inches of water covering a good 50m of road.  Boom.  Excuse to turn around and go home.

Instead I turned around, ran down a road I’d never run down before and connected up to my planned route a little further down where there was no water.  Boom.  Excuse eliminated.

Right around that point is when my bluetooth headphones and phone music playlist combined to a) be uncomfortable and unstable [the headphones] and b) play crappy music, not follow the playlist and generally avoid effective user interface (phone).  Boom.  Excuse to turn around and go home.

Instead I shut off the music, put the headphones in my pocket and agreed with myself to run without musical accompaniment.  Boom.  Excuse eliminated.

Now, let’s face it.  On a badass scale of 1 to 10, overcoming these “obstacles” and doing a 5K run is probably somewhere between 0.5 and 0.8.  But you know what?  I don’t care.  I did a workout in the face of numerous easy outs and did the right thing when it would have been easy to wuss out and do nothing.  That’s enough badassery to celebrate.

Here are some screenshots from MapMyRide.  I am considering using this a little more to see what kind of functionality it has.  Especially since I routinely leave my Garmin turned on when I come home and don’t find out until I try to turn it on before I start running.  It does have more adds and falderal than Garmin Connect but it might be worth trying.  It’s clearly worth having around as a back-up data collection method.

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