Sunday, November 30, 2014

An excuse not to buy cheap sunglasses

Looking good
To be cheap or not cheap

The other day I was waiting to receive my flu shot at Albertsons.  Next to me was a rack of sunglasses, so I took a look.  A $17.99 pair by Foster Grant caught my eye.  I thought, what a great deal.

Foster Grant label
I patted myself on the back, thinking I'm such a smart guy, buying a cheap pair of sunglasses. Let all those other people spend $50 or more on a pair.

Broken dreams of savings
Unfortunately there is a reason the Foster Grant sunglasses were so cheap, it's because they are cheaply made.  Not two days later the frames broke for no reason.  I assume the tensile strength of the plastic is substandard.

Therefore, next time you are in the market for a pair of sunglasses, and need an excuse to get the Oakleys or Tifosis, which by the way come with three lenses, think of me and spend the extra money.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Denk Run Ride - it's coming

Got a pair of running shoes?  Know someone with a mountain bike?  Wanna team up.  Soon enough.  The Denk Run Ride is coming.  All trail.  535' of gain and 3.7 miles a lap. Runner goes out first, does a lap and then tags biker. Biker does a lap.  Best combined time wins.  If you're crazy enough, do both laps yourself.

In the tradition of bike messenger alley cats, the exact time of the Run Ride will remain unpublished.  If you want in, contact us at and we will provide further details.  We will also try to match runners with bikers. By the way, did I mention Stumblefoot beer is on the line?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

SEHRC Stickers and Facebook


San Elijo Hills Running Club is now on Facebook as a private group.  Please ask to be added if interested.


To a certain degree, this blog is about running.  Perhaps to a greater degree, it's about running a running club.  In an effort to memorialize the process, I've blogged about the name, the motto, the mascot, shirts, hats and now stickers.

The BykViking doesn't let up.  I mention the idea of stickers and voila, he gives me sticker designs.  Now I've got to make a decision.

Potential sticker designs
To aid in my decision, I request feedback.  Greg F. likes the three on the right side, with the top right one the best.  Chris B. likes the middle right and bottom right.

In my mind, the sticker should inform the reader of the name of the club and it's purpose.  At the same time, the BykViking and I are interested in having the sticker be consistent with either the shirts or the hat. Under this framework, the middle and bottom right fit the bill, as they both spell the club name out. Moreover, the middle right is consistent with the hat design and bottom right with the shirt design.

Although, the middle right does not pop.  Perhaps a change in color scheme?  At the same time, the top right, to me, is pretty cool looking.  Anyhow, we will send a bunch of emails to one another and chat about it on a group run and figure it out.  If you, the reader, have any comments, please comment away.

Friday, November 21, 2014

SEHRC Trucker Hats - super cheap

Our very own trucker hat wearing Greg Fall came up with the design concept for the trucker hat pictured below.  The red line represents Double Peak, Frank's Peak and Mt. Whitney.  It also calls to mind a heartbeat.  The BykViking added the white striping and I suggested the Blade Runner font.  All in all, a nice team design effort.

Through a connection at Otto, a large manufacturer of headwear, the club is able to get the hats at wholesale prices.  The hats are good quality and will be a cotton twill polyester blend, which helps the hats from fading in the sun.

We are going to have a local screen printing shop heat press on the design.  We are still working on exact pricing, but the hats will probably be priced at $6.00. We plan on ordering the hats on Monday, 11/24/12, so if you want one, let us know.

Keep on trucking!


Since this was posted, there has been a change of plans.  Heat press of a design is really only effective on a trucker hat with a white foam front.  As we have selected a hat made with cotton and a black front, our choice has to be embroidery. The price of embroidery is dependent on stitches.  As the design has a large white stripe, this design would require a lot of stitches aka $$$. Therefore, the BykViking reworked the design and removed the stripe.  The hat will now look like:

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sugar water, one night stands and Ottinger running to plan

Last night, seeing that only two runners would be joining me for the Sunday SEHRC group run, I was a bit disappointed.   Growing a running club has its up and downs.  Last week we had ten runners, plus the club secured sponsorship from Stumblefoot Brewery, as well as Road Runner Sports.  At the same time, about twelve club members had ordered club jerseys, not bad.

Cameraman Greg
I got over my disappointment and focused on the positive.  I'd be running with Greg and Kam, two awesome individuals who've run hundreds of miles with me. I knew it would be a good run, even if it was only three.

When I met the pair at Questhaven, we all said how tired we were.  Greg had run 17 miles the day before, Kam had done a tough track workout and I'd done 10 x 400m.  We all wanted to run slow and we did, putting in 12.7 miles, with 2,000' of gain at the fairly pedestrian pace of 10:10 a mile for a total time around 2:10.

The run was like an intimate dinner party.  We stayed together the entire time and chatted about running, training and life.  Early on we spoke about diet and In-N-Out came up.  Rather than call the soda at In-N-Out "soda", Kam referred to it as "sugar-water."  It's a good way of looking at it, because that's what it is. When I call a Coke, "sugar-water", I have less of a desire to drink it.  It reminds me of that scene in Men In Black:
Edgar: Give me... sugar... in water. 
That doesn't sound too appetizing, does it?  Kam then talked about the burgers. He likes them.  He eats them.  But then afterwards he feels remorse, like he just had a one night stand he regrets.  "What was I thinking?"  The three of us are relatively young runners, Kam has been at it 4 years, me almost three and Greg not even a year.  It's funny as we progress as runners, even though we could eat anything, we have become more concerned with our diet, not less.  One word, "avocado."

As the run continued, we got to speaking about Greg Ottinger.  A few weeks ago, Greg and I ran with Ottinger, with Ottinger going for 37 miles and Greg 31.  I bowed out at around 13.  During that run Ottinger spoke of the upcoming Chimera 100 miler.  Ottinger told us the race was all about eating and hydrating right for the first 80 miles, yeah just the first 80!  After that, if he felt good, he would open it up.

Ottinger ran to plan.  He stayed back early, letting 60 or so runners pass him.  He bided his time and ate his food.  Then like a great fishermen, he simply reeled them all in, passing 60 people to finish 4th overall.  It's a hard thing to let 60 people pass you, but for Ottinger it was the right thing.  Way to go!  

From Elfin Forest, looking at Double Peak, Frank's Peak & Mt. Whitney - does it get any better?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Letting things evolve at their own pace

On November 5, 2014, the South Coast League middle school cross-country finals for both the North and South divisions were held at Marantha Christian in San Diego.  The course was 1.5 miles and consisted of track, grass, pavement and dirt, with a bit of elevation change.

Zach did well, running the course in 8:40, which is a mile pace of 5:46.  (Time subject to confirmation.)  Zach finished fifth, set a new PR and helped his team win the boys' final.  Zach also got to meet Jim Ryun who was the first high school athlete to run under four minutes in the mile and won a silver medal in the 1968 Olympics in the 1500m.

Jim Ryun and Zach
It's been a good season of cross-country for Zach, as he's finished second or third each race and continued to set PRs.  Along the way, he's learned a few valuable lessons.  At one meet, the course was not marked properly, setting back the schedule by 30 minutes.  Zach, who didn't have water with him, ended up running the race with a dry throat.  Lessons learned: have water and crap happens.

Yesterday he played soccer at school prior to the meet.  He ran well and set a PR, but he realized afterwards this was not a good idea.  Lesson learned: rest on race day.

Although Zach and I ran a bit together this summer, I've left him alone for the fall.  Between soccer and cross-country, Zach was running 6-7 times a week.  I saw no need to get him to run with me.  Instead, I let him do his thing and I think it worked.

For the last three years, Zach has been expected to win every race he entered by his teammates and coaches.  While he did win 75% of the time, the pressure was a bit much for him.  He began to not want to run the races.

This year has been completely different.  His cross-country team is strong and Zach was more concerned about the team winning, then individual glory.  As a result, Zach enjoyed himself, is excited about the sport and wants to run more.      

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Hare & The Tortoise: IAAF Strips the Tortoise of His Victory

Principality of Monaco - The International Association of Animal Federations ("IAAF") stripped the Tortoise of his victory over the Hare today after a months-long investigation.

We have all heard the story of the famous footrace between the The Hare & The Tortoise, which is reprinted below:
A hare was one day making fun of a tortoise for being so slow upon his feet. "Wait a bit," said the tortoise.  "I'll run a race with you, and I'll wager that I win."  "Oh, well," replied the hare, who was much amused at the idea, "let's try and see."  And it was soon agreed that the fox should set a course for them and be the judge.  When the time came both started off together, but the hare was soon so far ahead that he thought he might as well have a rest.  So down he lay and fell fast asleep.  Meanwhile the tortoise kept plodding on, and in time reached the goal.  At last the hare work up with a start and dashed on at his fastest, but only to find that the tortoise had already won the race.

Many people have long found the story unbelievable, asking "why on Earth would the Hare take a nap in the middle of the race?"  Moreover, questions have been raised about the Hare sleeping out in the open, making itself easy prey.

In the last year, rumors began to circulate that there were shenanigans involved in the running of the race.  Specifically, Alistair Barker, a Ph.D. student at the London School of Economics released a dissertation on the betting involved in the race.  Mr. Barker analyzed reams of ancient data from Dogbrokes, a British gaming company based in London, that took bets on the footrace.

Employing statistical analysis, Mr. Barker found the betting patterns to be normal, up until the last five minutes before betting closed.  At that point, Mr. Barker found millions of pounds of wagers were placed on the Tortoise and determined such bets to be an anomaly.  Conducting further research into centuries old banking records, Mr. Barker was able to determine the source of those wagers emanated solely from Asia, again an anomaly.

As a result, Mr. Barker contacted investigative journalist, I. P. Clear, at the The Times, who traveled to Hong Kong and other cities in Asia.  Mr. Clear  learned the bets were placed by the Triads, who have been linked to fixing football and cricket matches, as well as races, throughout the ages.  Mr. Clear was unable to convince any of his sources to speak on the record, so the story appeared as it was going to die.

However, the race was governed under the IAAF.  As a result, both the Hare and the Tortoise were required to give urine samples at the completion of the race.  Although, those samples were never tested, as the Tortoise won by such a wide margin, and drug controls in those days did not call for the mandatory testing of race winners.

At the urging of Messieurs Barker and Clear, the IAAF tested the urine samples of the runners.  The Tortoise was found to have traces of coca leaves in his sample, which accounts for the personal best the Tortoise was never able to duplicate in subsequent competitions.

Whereas, the Hare was found to have traces of opium in his sample.  Opium is an analgesic or painkiller and can be used as a sleep aide, which explains why the Hare inexplicably took a nap in the middle of the race.  In the parlance of today's youth, he was simply "tripping balls".

Based on these positive drug tests, the betting and bank records, as well as the Triad connection, the IAAF believes the Hare was a victim of a wide-ranging conspiracy, to which the Tortoise was a willing participant.  As a consequence, the IAAF stripped the Tortoise of his victory postreptously and awarded it the Hare.

While slow and steady wins the race, let's not be ridiculous.