Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Who's Coming With Me? My Race Schedule for 2012

(The "village" in the center of Mont Tremblant)

The 2011 season is in the books and it looks like the major races planned for next year are already pretty much set. I have been planning my 2012 season over the past few weeks to get an idea of time commitments, vacation scheduling, and "life events". The other advantage of registering for the races ahead of time is that there is a clear goal to train towards. 2012 is shaping up to be a great year in terms of travel with races planned in New Orleans, Mont Tremblant (Quebec), Cambridge (Maryland), and Portland (Oregon).

Monday, November 28, 2011

Deals: Fully Waterproof GPS Watch for $123

Over the past few years, I've really seen the rise of personal fitness devices and along with it, a gradual decrease in pricing that is really starting to make it affordable to own something like a GPS watch to help optimize your training and log your workouts. Timex recently released the Ironman Run Trainer which is targeted as a direct competitor to the Garmin 210 watch. Based upon functionality and price point, this watch will be more than adequate for 90% of the people I know. The value of the watch goes further if you get the heart rate strap so you can measure the intensity of your workouts to see if you are pushing it enough on an interval workout or a CrossFit WOD. The best part is that you can get it for a reasonable price of $123 through a combination of sales and rebates.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Race Report: Philadelphia Marathon 2012

My 2011 season came to a close with the completion of the Philly marathon. I didn't intend to do any marathons this year but somehow ended up signing up for both the Baltimore Marathon and Philadelphia marathon which are within a month of each other. I agreed to do the Philly Marathon so that my brother and I could race each other on a relatively flat course. The outcome of the race was not exactly how I wanted due to the lingering plantar fasciitis issues. In a nutshell, I felt great the first half of the race (1:41 half marathon split) but struggled through the second half when the planter fasciitis flared up (4:08 finish). Unfortunately, other circumstances at the marathon gave me perspective that there are more important things to dwell on than an undesirable race result. I originally wrote a detailed post with race preparation, nutrition, mile splits, heart rate charts, etc. I decided to scrap all of that this morning and do something different.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My Reflective Wear Set-Up for Night Time Running

Figuring out ideal training conditions is always a trade-off depending on what season of the year you are in. During the Fall season, the weather is more conducive to running outside from a temperature perspective but the major disadvantage is the lack of day light to train in. At this point, you are pretty much forced to run in the dark before work or after work if you prefer to run outside.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Earn It to Own It and Other Race Apparel Etiquette

I've been on the fence about whether or not I'll go ahead and gut out running the Philadelphia Marathon this weekend due to my ongoing struggle with Plantar Fasciitis. It's frustrating knowing that I have the aerobic capacity and strength to run a marathon but am limited by an injury. In conversation with friends about dropping out and eating the $125 registration fee, someone mentioned that at least I would get a nice long sleeve tech tee out of it. Therein lies an interesting point. I don't think I would pick up and wear a shirt for a race I didn't do. Coincidentally, I saw this list of informal race shirt etiquette rules posted on the forums on Personally, I’ve never worn a shirt or apparel for a race that I did not run or complete and I don't think I'd make an exception for the upcoming Philly Marathon. In a way, I feel like it would be disrespectful to the actual participants that were in the race. Earn it to own it.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Most Incredible Home Cooked Steaks Courtesy of Sous-Vide

" that a blow torch cooking the steak?" Yes, that's a blow torch but it is only for "finishing" the steak. To further your confusion, the steak was cooked in a crock pot of water for about six hours and the finished product is hands down the best home-cooked steak I've ever had. All of this is courtesy to the Sous-Vide method which cooks the meat evenly throughout, not overcook the outside, and retain more of the food juices. This kind of cooking used to be limited to high end gourmet restaurants but now there are ways for us non-professionals to enjoy foods cooked Sous-Vide.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Guest Post: A Review of the Catalyst Cleanse Diet

I've been working to catch up on a number of new posts but alas, life commitments and training gets in the way to getting the goods out in a timely manner.The target is for the posts to be coming out in the next couple of weeks including reviews of a few zero drops shoes I tried this summer, a review of the new Zeo Mobile sleep machine, winter cycling workout ideas, and a couple of fitness books/movie reviews. In the meantime, we have a guest post from my good friend Gina who is a fellow fitness enthusiast. To give some color on Gina's background, she currently is an active CrossFitter at CrossFit Manayunk and also a member of my Co-Ed football team. Gina has also done a number of road races including 5K's, 10 milers, and half marathons. She is targeting to do her first marathon next year at the Portland Marathon.

One of the growing trends in the consumer health industry has been cleanse diets. In a nutshell, the goals of the different cleanses are to detoxify your body, assist with weight loss, and potentially clear up your complexion. At the end of the program, it also  provides an opportunity to "re-start" your habits and replacing them with good ones. There's all kinds of cleanse products out there, but Gina specifically tried the Catalyst Cleanse. She wrote up a fantastic review of it on Facebook and allowed me to share her experiences on my blog to give you all a bit more insight into what the diet entails. Check out the full review after the jump.