Friday, August 17, 2007

Online Training Log for Runners

Just recently (ok, 3 days ago) I wrote a post about my "new online running tool". Well, I've flip-flopped to another tool since then. Yes, 3 days ago... :)

As I outlined in that post, there is a lot of competition out there and this is my final stop; I finally found the one that fits me. I'm a subscriber to RunnersWorld magazine and I read articles from my blog reader (none other than Google Reader of course). They've recently announced a new online training portal to their site for tracking your data. Needless-to-say, they offer the built-in Google maps tool to create, find, and share running routes as well.

The mapping utility appeared a bit flawed at first, but it was much better than the mapping utility that had (which was nothing). offered a full-fledge community feel to their site and had some pretty compelling features for us "tech nuts" including an add-on for finding runs directly from Google maps, various blogging links, and other cool things that had me convinced they were "the ones". What ended up selling me on was the fact that they had charts, in depth mileage tracking, very large online community, amazing articles, and they're improving their map sharing.

My only complaint with these training sites is that nobody has an "import" utility to import old data files. They all offer an "export" utility, which makes it easy to leave... but no "import". This seems like a "must have" if you ask me. Especially for, because they are the "new kids" in town with their training log. I've only been running for 8 months... I couldn't imagine the heaps of data that other runners must have.

I posted the discussion on both sites requesting this feature, so I guess you can say that I did my part in getting the ball rolling..? We'll see...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

An Extensive Examination of Data Structures

While I coding away and decided to try to implement my own binary tree last night (I know, but whatever...). So, of course, I did some Googling and found "the link of all links". I quickly got lost in all-goodness: An Extensive Examination of Data Structures

This post is more or less just a reference for me... for later.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I've been spending a lot of time with some new (to me) tools for tracking my runs and so on. There are many tools out there that now offer mapping technology with their services. For the longest time, I've been using to track my progress, but the other sites offer a lot more features...

If you've ever read any of my posts, you know that I am a big fan of mapping technologies (who isn't?). Well all these other running sites allow me to create maps of all of my runs using customized Google maps embedded right in their site. Needless to say, it appealed to me immediately; integrating the Google Maps API into a running log just makes sense as far as I'm concerned. Just recently I've found quite a few that offer this feature:,,, etc...

What really sparked my interest about was that I actually found them while searching Google maps for something (don't remember what it was now). I was checking out some of the new add-ons and got stumbled upon their "Run Finder". I added it to my toolbox and started searching for runs.

I was surprised to see that there were no routs in my area (Newark, Ohio). There weren't any!! I then did a search for runs in Columbus, Ohio and found oodles... This led me to their site and I setup an account. Their site is easy to use, quick to update and very "tech savvy" for avid bloggers and online nuts (like myself). Needless to say, I've been hooked on it ever since.

If you like to run and would like to find runs when you travel (ie. 5 miler in Vegas or 10 miler in Denver), or wish to add your own runs for others to see, I highly recommend you check out Oh, and don't forget that the next time you are in Newark or Columbus, be sure to check out some of my maps: Lucas28

Update: 8/17/2007
I've changed this post to a testimonial of; however I removed all of the content describing how it is my new training tool. When I found their site, I focused on the enhanced mapping utility and the community based mapping service. I clearly overlooked the functionality that was most important to me which was the charts and analysis.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Ouch! YouTube Just Crushed Me

I was setting up my YouTube account, and since it's my first time in here, all of my sections said:
  • You have no Channels
  • You have no Favorites
  • You have no Subscribers
  • You have no Videos
  • You have no Friends...

Monday, August 06, 2007

Now That's a Snake!

Jennifer found this snake on the road in front of our house. It was either coming into our yard or was leaving it; we couldn't tell which it was. Either way, I'm glad a passer-by killed it before one of the girls found it (alive). As you can see above, it was about as long as Lizzie is tall... Pretty big!
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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Celtic Festival 5k - My Fifth Race

Ok, so I've kinda slacked a bit. Somebody asked me last week how my race went and I realized that I had not posted my results and overall thoughts to my blog (which I clearly stated I would here).

The race was "good". It was so hot that day. I think it was like 95 degrees Fahrenheit with 95% humidity and there was no escaping the heat. Before the race, I did about 10 minutes of jogging and stretching hoping that I could do real good with this "new approach". I was already drenched in sweat by the time the race started, but I was convinced that I stayed very hydrated. I took a few drinks from Jen's warm bottles of water. I finished stretching and warming up about 5 minutes before the race started and I just stood there like an idiot shaking my legs and arms because I didn't know what else to do. :) I guess this is what runners do before races because everybody else was doing it too. So... yes, it's safe to say that we were all being idiots. :P

The race was an easy "out and back" course, meaning that it goes out for 1.55 miles and you have to turn around and cross the starting line to finish. I thought it sounded easy enough and I was ready to go. There were no clouds in the sky, the sun was right in front of us and the pavement was pulsating heat waves up in the distance. Hell, I can handle this!

When the race started, I kept up with the crowd pretty good. My first mile was 7 minutes and 20 seconds. This was really good and I was excited to try and do my "sub 25 minute" race, but the first mile really drained me. They had the water table right before the first mile and I didn't think I needed any so I just ran right past them thinking there would be another one up the road. About 50 yards from the water station I started to get cold chills and I could feel my skin get cold. I knew this wasn't good because (like I said) it was so hot that day. I realized I was in a bit of a pickle at this point. I decided to back off a bit and catch my breath and try to cool down.

My second mile was 8 minutes 44 seconds. This is much better than my training pace, but very slow for my race pace. What sucks is that my condition was getting worse. My mouth was all dry and my head started to hurt. I knew I was dehydrating fast and I was loosing steam even faster. My side hurt and my legs were starting to get stiff on me. I wanted to stop and walk the rest of the way so bad, but I just pushed through it. I could see the water table up in the distance, so that was my mental "check point". When I got up there, I grabbed the water and tried to drink it........... HOW DO PEOPLE DO THIS!!! I basically got it all over my face, up my nose, and all down my shirt; I probably only got down like 2 drops. Even then it wasn't refreshing because I had to try and swallow it down between my compulsive gasping for air. Needless to say, it didn't help much. I was still ready to walk the rest of the way and I had about 1 more mile to go.

Stubborn as I am, I pushed through the 3rd mile as lots of people passed me. What was worse was that the race started (and therefore ended) with a bunch of up and down hills. The finish line was at the top of a huge hill and I probably could have crawled up it faster on a good day than I did running up it on this day. My last 1.1 mile was a stellar 10 minutes and 20 seconds. But hot damn, it was over.

My total time was 26 minutes and 24 seconds. I learned a lot from this race! The number one thing I learned is that I need to figure out how to drink and run for the next race. :) Which (BTW) I have 2 BIG races lined up for the fall: a 20K and a 1/2 Marathon. Those ought to be some interesting blog posts. :O

The Bourne Ultimatum

Jennifer and I had "hot date" night last night and went to see The Bourne Ultimatum. If you have not seen it... go see it now. No seriously, go. This was the best one yet. I won't spoil it, but I will say that there is a fight scene in here that destroys the any fight scene from the last two movies. Jason Bourne is a hillbilly bad-ass. After the movie I thought about jumping over the banister to the exit area and then just breaking someones arms with my wanna-be ninja skills and then busting some knee caps for no apparent reason. :) Just kidding! No seriously, I did... psych. What?

I sure hope that they have a 4th one: The Bourne Continuum or something silly. This story just keeps getting better!! I can honestly say that I now see Matt Damon as a super star. All of his other movies, he plays a good part, but I like him best as Jason Bourne! The last Bourne movies were better than "OK", but this one was just plain awesome! You know a movie is good when it is 2 hours of strait ass kicking and nobody gets up to go to the bathroom. Jen and I sat in the back row and didn't see too many people leaving during the movie. We were on the edge of our seats the whole time. Every now and then we would look at each other and laugh because Matt Damon busted out some sub-second jujitsu on like 5 people then walks away like it was nothing. I don't know... that just does something for me. :) I just wanted to stand up and yell "YEAH!!!", but fought the urge until I got back into the van.

Again, I stress... Go see this movie!

Friday, August 03, 2007

This is Absolutely Crazy

Jake Brown takes one for the team and scores my vote for President!

I'm sure he's pretty sore today... Nice 720 BTW!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

C'mon Bonds!! I mean, Dodgers!! I mean, Bonds!!!

I've recently started watching baseball again and last night I was watching the Giants vs. Dodgers game and was pretty upset with one of the decisions made by the Dodgers pitching staff to walk Barry Bonds in his last at bat.

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last decade, you should know that Barry Bonds is the #1 MLB villain these days. Well, so far he's kicking butt this year, but his last two months have been pretty boring. Last night he was looking to tie Hank Aaron's home run record (still...), but came up short again. He didn't have one hit all night (0 - 4). In the last inning of the game the crowd got all rowdied up and gave their normal "motivating" boos. All of the sudden, the Dodgers catcher stands up with his arm out to intentionally walk him and the boo's got even louder!!?? The Dodgers then got "boo"ed on their own turf. :)

Talk about some bipolarity (is that a word?)!.. I mean do ya love him, or do ya hate him? Make up your minds.

I must admit that ol' Barry has it pretty hard these days... James and I went to a Colorado Rockies game vs. the San Francisco Giants in Colorado a couple of months ago and Barry got boo"ed every at bat and every time he took the field. Between all the cackling his un-fans and all the nasty press he gets, he is in dire need of a hug.

Of course, I don't care either way if (rather when) he breaks Hank Aaron's record... I mean it's inevitable (and yes, that is a word). Just quit making a big deal out of him... Let him play ball! I guess my blog post isn't helping the general consensus either, but whatever... Anyway, last nights bipolar crowd during the intentional walk was pretty funny to say the least.

P.S. This is my first (and probably last) blog post about baseball... Consider yourself lucky to be a part of this monumental moment in (my) blogging history.

Photograph Math & Extreme Genius

Well, I was catching up on my blog role today and found a really cool site: Grant Schindler

I've blogged about various software packages in the past that manipulate photo's and organize them in cool ways. For example, Microsoft is doing some pretty cool things with PhotoSynth, Google introduced street view, etc... Well today I found out exactly what goes into the math behind that rendering and... WOW!! Watch this quick (silent) video to see exactly how the to make a virtual 3d world using a set of photographs:

Now quit reading this and figure out how to write that code! Please do share when you figure it out. :) C# please.