I haven’t spoken much here about my past life as a tournament chess player. To sum up my prior post on the topic: I started playing in the early 1980s, rose to NM (National Master) level (a rating over 2200 – the top 1% of tournament players in the US), and then a short time later, abruptly left the game in the early 1990s when other things in life became a priority.
I’ve never really had the game seriously call me back, but on occasion I have given it some thought. Then I remember that in my latter years of playing, I had some holes in my opening repertoire which needed plugging. With the passing of time and with increased knowledge due to computers, those holes would be major breaches, and I might be lucky to make it out of the opening alive. The thought of retooling my entire opening repertoire just to be able to sit in the tournament hall would be a major disincentive to return after a long absence. Continue reading
My recent purchase of an ElliptiGo resulted in having to work out transportation options. It will fit inside my 2000 Toyota Sienna, but it is a real pain. So I looked into other methods, and getting a hitch mount rack was the way to go. Later on, I learned I could use the hitch to pull a trailer too! Continue reading
Just a bunch of random photos from earlier this month. Continue reading
My work Windows 7 laptop has been running with a 250GB Samsung 840 SSD for quite some time now. It’s been running out of capacity, and I’m between projects at work, so this was the perfect time to do something about it. I’d love to ditch the laptop and get a Surface Pro 3, but that’s a little out of the budget right now. Instead, I found a 500GB Samsung 850 SSD for $199 to keep me going for a while. Continue reading
Normally when I take my Garmin FR220 running watch (retail $250) on flights, I simply wear it on the plane. On this last trip, I had a last minute change of heart and packed it in my rollerboard, which I normally carry on. But at that time I forgot that I had also planned to check a box of work supplies, so it made sense to check the rollerboard too.
When I arrived in my hotel in Houston on Sunday, the Garmin was not in my rollerboard. I was puzzled at first, because at home I keep the Garmin with my running armband and headlamp, and so I would have packed all three of them at the same time. Yet only the armband and headlamp made it to Houston. At the time I assumed I somehow must have forgotten to pack the Garmin, even though I thought that was implausible. When I returned home late Friday, I searched all the places the Garmin could/would have been. And then I finally realized the unthinkable: the Garmin was stolen from my checked baggage.
There was nothing inside the bag saying it was inspected by TSA, so I’m going to file a claim with United. I’ll update this post with more details after they are available.
The biggest challenge was setting my target pace for the race. My last 5K was in November, which I ran in 23:40, at a 7:37/mi pace. But this winter I got plantar fasciitis which sidelined me for a while. I’m been on the mend and now returning to running form. A couple of weeks ago while on a business trip I ran 5K on a flat route after work in about 26 minutes at tempo pace.
The other complication was that I caught a cold/sore throat a couple of days before the race. I’ve never raced when sick, so I was in complete unknown territory. I figured I’d start off the race at an 8:00/mi pace, and if I could pick up the pace later, than great – but if I couldn’t, then at least I’d be at a reasonable pace that I could hold. Continue reading
Just a quick update since my return to running after being sidelined with plantar fasciitis. In my last post, I described my plan to transition from walking to running in four weeks. That plan worked rather well, and last week while on business I was able to run 5K at tempo pace! Continue reading
I haven’t been running since mid-January, when I got plantar fasciitis in my foot. Based on past experience with plantar fasciitis (from walking, not running!), I knew it was best to completely stop running in order not to make it linger. In the meantime, I’ve been working on my calf stretching and using the ElliptiGo and the bicycle to stay in shape.
Finally my plantar fasciitis is under control, and I’m ready to start running again. Certainly I need to ease my way back into it, but how? The gradual “Couch to 5K” in 8 weeks seemed like overkill for just a 6 week absence. But I found the following suggestion which seems reasonable. Continue reading
In mid-December, I hurt my foot (plantar fasciitis) and decided it would be best to lay off the running for a while. I’ve heard of runners using the ElliptiGo as a cross training tool, and it just so happened that I was able to pick one up used!
Here’s some information on some tweaks I ended up doing to the ElliptiGo to make it more suited for my needs. In a future post I’ll talk more about how it is working out as an exercise/training tool. Continue reading
I last spoke of the return of the plica syndrome in mid-December, so I’ve stayed off the bicycle since then. And even though I’ve been doing short easy runs through the holidays, plantar fasciitis struck in mid-January. I know from past experience (believe it or not, I had PF years ago from bicycling!) that I don’t dare do anything which could aggravate it. So I’ve been completely sidelined for the latter half of January.
In the meantime I added a couple of pages to the website: Race All 50 and Bike All 50.
Today I decided to hop on the bike for about 10 miles through the local hills. Continue reading