Ok, so in order to keep this thing semi-relevant to most of my readers, I have decided to stick to one post a week again regardless of length or content. RUNNERD ALERT, will be my bat signal to the run community to discuss new shoes, gadgets, nerd lassoes, clothes, fuel and the like. Nothing mind-blowing, but since I am writing it, then it should carry a shit ton of weight. Psyche!
So glorious right? Too glorious considering it’s a trail shoe but that is one of the things I love the most about it, Saucony didn’t go black or grey…they went neon! Sure it could be cooler looking but I am not complaining since this will be annihilated in just under a month as my race shoe for the World Famous Camp Pendleton Mud Run. I first started running trails when I moved to Pasadena and was introduced to the all the beautiful paths it has to offer. Pasadena trails are fantastic but I hated the feeling of my feet slipping with every step, especially going up hill. About a year and a half ago Solomon held a demo in Pasadena that allowed me to try their trail shoes on a run without having to drop the cash so I jumped at the chance. The shoes were awesome, so much traction and support, I was sold. I immediately went out and bought a pair of Solomons that fit my running style (at that time). They were heavy and bulky but I figured all trail shoes would be, so just go with it! As the summer progressed I was knee-deep in marathon training so I avoided trails (for some reason) and focused on the road. The more miles I accumulated the more I conditioned myself to run in more “neutral” pronation shoes, goodbye stability shoes and hello cool 4mm drop, light, and bright!
Once my marathon training passed I decided I wanted to focus more on trails since they are supposedly much better for your bod than the road and because I needed more hill work for multiple reasons, but primarily the aforementioned CPMR. I took my Solomon’s out for a spin and it was like running in hiking boots, blisters and all. Fail, these would not work. I started doing research on every trail shoe on the market, standard process for me, I need to know everything about everything when making a purchase, its time-consuming but I feel educated and satisfied once I make a decision. I finally arrived at the conclusion that I wanted something minimal but not five fingerish and light. I love the Saucony Kinvara 3 but the reviews of the Kinvara TR were less than stellar; tight toe box, weak upper, weird heel and kind of stiff. Then I came across a video review of the upcoming Saucony releases and found out that not only was the Kinvara 4 dropping on May 1st but that the Kinvara TR2 would be coming out at the same time. Everything that was wrong with the original trail version had been noted and adjusted in the TR2, the main factor for me was that the toe box would be widened so I was sold. It was February, so that meant I had to be patient for 3 months. The shoe arrived on their site as scheduled and I ordered it May 1st, directly from their site for a hundred bucks ( www.saucony.com )
It finally arrived and although I knew the shoes was light, 7.8 ounces to be exact, I wasn’t think about how light that actually is, I was still thinking…trail shoe, this thing is road shoe light. I laced it up and much like the Kinvara 4 it felt like a cushy glove around my foot, not exactly the same but awesome nonetheless. I had been dealing with a bout of self diagnosed “runner’s knee” after my recent RAGNAR race and part of the recommended rehab was to hit the softer surface of trails and work in more up hill running to strengthen the quads. I immediately headed down to the trails to test them out for a 3 mile run. They immediately felt great, I had all sorts of traction and my knee was responding well to the uneven surfaces and rolling hills (my lungs on the other hand…). Once I hit two miles, the 3 mile cap was out the window because I knew these shoes would not need to be broken in, they were ready to go as far as I was, 4.5 miles completed.
I got home, took them off and almost kissed the dusty things right on the tongue. They are everything I wanted but had no idea existed in a trail shoe. Flexible, light, protective and full of traction. No blisters to be found and no soreness. So if you are currently running any sort of minimal drop, light and bright road shoe then this is the trail shoe for you. I have now run 3 times in this shoe for just about 15 miles and I still have no complaints, I hope they come out with more colors soon and hope they treat me well at the CPMR in a few weeks!
Heyyyyyy, check it out. I am still alive. I have been commenting and participating in the blogosphere but not writing much, that needs to change because this is a great outlet for me. I would probably be better off writing a bunch of individual posts about my life over the past few months but let’s be somewhat honest…I don’t feel like it and I would rather just focus on what is ahead. There is a lot on tap that I have to start focusing on…like this…
Also worth mentioning, I have a trip to hell on the race calendar in about a month with the World Famous Camp Pendleton Mud Run in early June. Then there is the Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake Stadium Tour at the Rose Bowl in late July that I am psyched on and a lot more stuff that I will share as they approach.
So a quick recap of the Top 5 happenings in a very un-Dominick sort of way…
1) Rock’N'Roll Pasadena Half Marathon : I gave it my all and although I felt like I probably could have trained a bit smarter and done more speed work, I crushed my 2012 time by 8 minutes for a NEW PR of 1:43:36.
2) Stoked Mentoring : This is the program I fundraised for in the fall as part of my NYC Marathon entry process for 2012. I donated my time for three, 14-hour Sunday snow days and enjoyed every minute of it. I am even pondering doing their Surf Mentor program this summer. Such a rewarding experience and such great kids.
3) Coachella : So much for swearing I would never go back. Not only did I go back, I camped. This year was a lot more enjoyable because of the weather but unfortunately disaster struck again in the form of incredibly high winds (65 mph gusts). The return of a wicked sinus infection for the second straight year due to all the dust has prompted me to swear 2013 will be my last. Highlights of the weekend, the Violent Femmes and Father John Misty. Low, 2Chainz coming out over 20 minutes late while people baked in the sun…and the super annoying crowd at 2Chainz.
4) RAGNAR Relays SoCal : I ran just under 21 miles over 3 legs. My first leg was 5 miles at a 7:30/mi pace. Second leg, 8.6 miles at a 7:30 pace…with 300 feet of elevation gain. Third Leg, 7 miles at 7:55/mi with over 800 feet of elevation gain. Did I mention I was sick with a sinus infection from the aforementioned Coachella and that this relay was over for me in less than 22 hours? The human body is pretty incredible and I crushed it…one problem…I also stressed out my right knee and am currently in recover mode.
5) Fun Times Are Here Again : Those who know me in real life know that I have an embarrassing obsession with Vespa scooters. I have no idea how it is not on my Bucket List, but it should be. I don’t really know when it began but my first experience on a scooter was when I was probably around 10 and my sisters friend came over with her new scooter. She let my sister and I take it around the block…where my sister proceeded to drop the scooter going into a turn and we miraculously made it out unscathed (the scooter did as well). The better explanation may be Hollywood, I kind of love scenes in which people are cruising around Italy on Vespa’s, primarily Roman Holiday. So anyway, when I moved to Pasadena a few years back I started talking about finally getting one…although I had come close a few times, excuses prevailed and it never seemed like the right thing to do financially. Well, I recently found one on Craigslist that I liked at a price I could handle. I went to see it, got along with the owner and decided, this was it…so last weekend I completed the transaction and am now a proud Vespa owner…meet Pliny!
So that brings you up to speed on happenings thus far in 2013…back to our regular scheduled program.
Alesmith IPA – Alesmith Brewing Co. (San Diego, CA)
Spring is in the air and it is time to switch from the hearty stouts and barley wines to the bitter IPA’s before hitting the really light stuff in the summer. If I were to compile a list of top IPA’s, this would make my top 5. Based out of craft beer Mecca, San Diego, Alesmith is one of the lesser known breweries in the area but not because their beers have any shortcomings, they are all pretty damn good. The IPA in particular is bitter, hoppy and fresh, if you like Racer 5 you will love Alesmith’s IPA because it is less bitter but just as amazingly crisp. They only come in 22oz bottles which I think is part of the reason they may not be as popular, people tend to get scared off by a $6 beer. So buy one, and share it with a friend on a warm spring day.
Youth Lagoon : Cannons
The reality is that I have somewhat eclectic music taste as I am sure you have realized. A lot of you will not like this but for those that do, I salute you. I have had Youth Lagoon in constant rotation for the last couple of months and I am still beyond psyched on him. It was difficult to pick a song to share…Cannons, Afternoon, 17, July, Montana and Posters are all share worthy…oh wait…that is almost the entire Year of Hibernation album. Pick it up if you even remotely like Cannons because it is only $8.99 on iTunes. Instant street cred because the guy looks like a cross of a long-lost Baggins (see nerdtionary under : Lord of the Rings) and Rory McIlroy (see nerdtionary under : Golf’s most unattractive players).
Holy geez. You better be in a good place emotionally to watch this movie or else it is going to hit you really hard. If you are from Canada then you probably already know something about this movie, I had no clue what I was about to watch so it was insanity. To say that I was left uneasy, angry, appalled, shocked, and sympathetic would be an understatement. I don’t know if the documentary itself was particularly well filmed, or edited but the meat of it, the story, is so bizarre and unbelievable that the rest doesn’t matter. Watch it but be prepared to run the full gamut of emotions.
Thanks for reading and I will do my best to ensure it is not a couple of months before my next post!
Wow, talk about falling off the face of the Earth…
So an update on to where I have been for over a month. I am still running. Still listening to music. Still watching movies. Still volunteering. Still full of love. Most importantly I am still thankful for everyday on this Earth.
I haven’t had motivation to blog, I am not sure I want to do it now but there is so much good stuff to share that I can’t keep that bottled up much longer. I have about 20 musical artist/bands I would like to throw at you from every genre and about ten documentaries…but for now, be happy with this…
Theophilus London – Stand Alone
The video is pretty self-explanatory. Unique dude from Brooklyn, NY who makes poppy, hip-hoppy rhymes. Most of his music is uptempo and braggadocios. Not the most complex rapper but his beats and style are definitely unique. I am a little late on the Theophilus bandwagon considering his album released in 2011 but I imagine that his 2013 album will be making waves on the radio.
Suds Sounds Daily Double
Father John Misty – Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings
A completely different direction than the aforementioned Theophilus London, I know, that is the spectrum of my musical taste. Father John Misty is awesome, 70′s style psychedelic to an extent. Very easy listening and catchy but somewhat haunting and for some reason I think of him as a more poppy (or polished, less disturbed?) Elliott Smith (I think that is blasphemous as I write it because I think Elliott Smith will be looked at as one of the greatest songwriters of my era). I love the entire album, pick it up.
Press Pause Play
I don’t know if the trailer does this movie justice but trust me when I say, this is one of the most interesting documentaries on the effects of technology and the web on our culture that I have seen. It really is an extremely interesting, inspiring, scary and encouraging documentary. One of the better films I have seen in the last few months. It helped remind me that my generation has seen the world change more rapidly than any generation that preceded it. Not only through technology but also the use of it, primarily the effect of the internet and computers on our world. Press Pause Play delves into how it all effects our creativity in a good and bad way depending on how you are looking at it. Any way you look at this documentary should make you think and is worth an hour and a half of your attention.
Holy shnikes have I been busy/distracted/stressed/exhausted of late and the worst part is it has been for no particular reason. For the most part I have done it to myself without merit. Busy? Yes, but that is because I tend to commit to a lot and since I like to be taken at my word, backing out (regardless of how I feel) is never an option. Distracted? Yep, wait, what was I writing about? Oh yeah, being stressed, this one is all on me. Being stressed is always in our control, things are not nearly as bad or dire as I make them seem but I have of way of throwing myself on alert with certain things and I know it is a defense mechanism but I need to cool out since some things are easily solved by proactive decision-making. Well, that leaves me with blogging, I first started this effort as a release, something to share my life with people in hopes that I would write something that may be useful to someone going through similar situations. I really didn’t think about a “blogiversary” but after seeing a few pop up over the last couple of weeks, I realized, yeah, one year! Please note that I have successfully disappeared from sharing my thoughts over the last two months but I am still here, reading your blogs and commenting so I count it as a FULL YEAR under my belt!
A quick bit on running since I do not plan to write a full post on the topic this week. I have chosen to run the ING New York City Marathon in 2013. With the help of some fellow bloggers, my best friend and my girlfriend I was reminded that nothing is every going to be perfect and that this is something I really want to achieve. I still only plan to run one marathon and even though Chicago is really enticing, if I am going to travel out-of-state it should be for New York. The good news is that I now know what to expect from training in the summer heat, I know what to expect from my body and I will be stronger mentally this time around. I won’t start training officially until July but I am in the midst of the same marathon training program right now for the Rock and Roll Pasadena Half Marathon next month and ultimately RAGNAR SoCal in April. It is much easier to run in the winter than the summer although my discipline is being tested because the temperatures are perfect all day and I don’t have the urgency to wake up and beat the heat like I did in the summer.
Well without further ado, let me get back to sharing some music, booze and film!
The Zone by the Weeknd feat Wheelchair Jimmy
I referenced my love for the Weeknd in one of my previous SSC’s and since I have been such a sporadic blogger of late I figure I better share this before I move on to all the other new music I have discovered in the last month…> (Feist, Bat for Lashes, Grizzly Bear, Local Natives, Joy Formidable and Bombay Bicycle Club). Surprise! A Canadian musician is highlighted in SSC yet again…what is going on up there? Whatever it is, keep it up. The Weeknd won’t be everyone’s idea of “good” music but to me, it is modern-day baby making gold…or since I don’t have a baby in the works…it is running music…similar right? Well, I think this dude is insanely talented and considering you can get all three of his releases for $12 (total) on iTunes then it is a no brainer. I remember seeing The Weeknd at Coachella, albeit briefly and thinking, pretty cool, then moving on because there was so much other stuff distracting me. Then my girlfriend and I saw him open for Florence and the Machine in October and thought…man, I love this…the next day I was in my office listening to his music and have been hooked ever since. The Zone is not my favorite song but it is the only one on YouTube with a video so that is what you get. By the way, Wheelchair Jimmy is the artist better known as Drake, he played a handicap kid on Degrassi so I think it is amazing that he is now a buffed up rapper dude (I thank my girlfriend for this knowledge because I think he is terrible).
Woodford Reserve : Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey -Versailles, KY
I know, I know, it is supposed to be SUDS but with running I have begun to take it easy on beer due to hydration issues that ensure when I consume more than one. Don’t get me wrong I still drink a few beers a week but I have not been doing enough exploring of late and want to provide relevant recommendations with all of you. So unofficially, SSC may become Sounds, Sauce and Cinema…thoughts? I have always liked a good martini or rum and Coke but whiskey is a fairly new discovery for me. When I don’t feel like a beer I usually go for a mixed drink and I am not ashamed to say that when I started watching Mad Men a few years back I became intrigued with classic cocktails. I was particularly surprised by the distinct and flavorful Whiskey based creations and quickly grew to enjoy drinks like a Manhattan, Sazerac or Old Fashioned. Recently things took a turn for the worse though, I had a few sips of Woodford Reserve on the rocks and for some reason or another loved it. I won’t dare pretend like I have the palate to give you distinct flavors, so I will say it is sweet, warming and surprisingly smooth. I won’t tell you to drink it straight but if you are looking for an awesome whiskey for a classic cocktail, this is the one! And because everyone should know how to make a Manhattan…
Classic Manhattan Recipe
- 2 oz. Woodford Reserve®
- 1 oz. Sweet Vermouth
- 2 dashes Angostura® bitters
Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
Garnish with a bourbon-infused cherry…
Queen of Versailles
When I decided to share whiskey in the “Suds” section above I thought it was comical that the Woodford Reserve distillery is in Versailles, Kentucky because I had been kicking around a few films to share. Needless to say, I took it as a sign, so here you go, Queen of Versailles! This movie is pure, unadulterated American capitalist insanity personified. I started watching this movie with the expectation it would be a comedy but was left with a feeling of astonishment. If you ever wondered what caused the economy to take a dive, this movie will definitely shed some light by exploring the extravagant lifestyle of the Siegels and their business practices/model. It also does a decent job of explaining lending practices of our douchey banks. Now I most assuredly do not blame the wealthy for what happened to our economy, I blame the American people as a whole for living above their means with the expectation that there would always be more money and rarely be a consequence for stupidity. I won’t turn this into an economic or political discussion about the issues that are still affecting us today but this movie is a must watch. There is definitely some Real Housewives of ______ comedy in this documentary so you won’t be disappointed but enter it with an open mind, these are not evil people, well, at least Jacqueline Siegel isn’t, the jury is still out on David.
So I have been staring at this page all morning…unable to decide what to do. I have had second thoughts about doing this race (vs other marathons) and or switching years to 2014 because I plan on making a career change this year. I just can’t seem to pick and time is running out to decide.
I think it is ironic that “resolution process” is at the top of the page because I lack a firm decision to do something and this is definitely becoming much more of a “process” than I thought it was when I had “decided” to stick with New York a couple of weeks back.
First, let me acknowledge the fact that blogging has been at the bottom of my priority list over the last few weeks. I have been eating, drinking, reading, movie watching, snowboarding, parade watching, Rose Bowl game attending, and yes, exercising. It’s not that I don’t like blogging,
I just like watching Twin Peaks on my lunch break more, it is one of my favorite things to do but it is also extremely time-consuming, but I am now officially back at it! Oh, whats that? Yes, yes I did use the “R” word in my title. I think I am ready to start saying it again…RUNNING…and just so you know, just because it wasn’t being discussed, I was still pounding the pavement. As for the Latin, “ad multos annos” is a phrase that translates “to many years”! It is a prosperous phrase that looks forward and since 2012 is in the books, I am now looking forward to 2013. Let’s recap the achievements of the past year and then set some new goals for 2013
My main fitness goal at the beginning of the year was to run a half marathon. Last January the thought of a half marathon had me questioning my sanity, this year a half marathon seems like a training run. The unfathomable goal for 2012 was to run 1,000 miles and the unknown goal was to complete a marathon. The completion of my first half marathon left me on such a high that I decided to run the New York City Marathon and we all know how well that turned out. The good news is that although I did not end up running New York this year, the training for it propelled me to my goal of eclipsing 1,000 miles! This was such a big deal that I decided to dedicate my last run route of 2012 to celebrate in grand fashion….
The perseverance and commitment required to be a runner has made me mentally and physically stronger in a way that I never imagined. I am so thankful for a year of health and growth thanks to running!
Running Bucket List Items achieved in 2012:
- Bucket List #32 – Run 1,000 miles in a year
- Bucket List #33 – Run an event and place in my age bracket
- Bucket List #36 – Run a half marathon
2012 running recap:
Number of Races Completed : 6
5k’s (1) – Claremont Turkey Trot – NEW PR – Time – 20:19 (6:32/mi)
10k’s (2) – Pasadena Marathon (10k) – NEW PR – Time – 46:14 (7:26/mi) – Camp Pendleton Mud Run (MUD PR) – Time – 56:14 (9:08/mi)
Half Marathons (3) – Pasadena Rock’n'Roll Half Marathon – Time – 1:51:34 (8:31/mi) / Windward Half Marathon (Hawaii)- Time – 2:03:52 (9:27/mi) – / Malibu International Half Marathon NEW PR – Time – 1:49:34 (8:21/mi)
Marathons – ING New York Marathon (Cancelled)
Longest Run – 20 Miles!
Most Miles in a Month : September : 143 Miles
Shoes Retired : (3) RIP Saucony Guide 4′s!
Total Miles Run : 1,003.89 miles logged and a mud run
Total Number of Runs : 181 and a mud run
Total Number of Mini-Tantrums in Which I Cursed Running Before Pushing Myself Out the Door : 181 + a mud run
Average Pace : 8:40/mi
So maybe you noticed two PR’s I did not previously share…well, that is because I didn’t feel like writing about either after New York…I didn’t feel like talking about RUNNING but in very un-Dominick fashion, let me sum up both races “quickly”. The Malibu Half Marathon was the race I chose to do one week after New York, I wanted to put my training to good use but did not feel like running a marathon. I did little to no preparation for this race mentally and failed to read the course map properly the day before…
I actually thought the course was going to be flat and went about dreaming of a NEW PR somewhere around 1:45 since I had trained to run a 3:40 marathon, I figured that would be easy! Do you see my error? If not, let me explain, the course BEGAN at the half way mark…it didn’t finish there. Now, I think you will see why I hated this race. I had trained for a semi flat marathon and came up against an extremely hilly half marathon. Around mile 8 I was walking up a hill, cursing myself, wondering why I was running, beating myself up about giving up and saying things like…is this how you would have responded to adversity in NY? I even pondered walking the rest of the way since I kept falling further behind the 1:45 pace group. I decided to suck it up and just kept telling myself, this has to be the last hill…I was wrong every time until the last mile when I could finally see the finish line. I was thankful it was over, it was that miserable. The frustration subsided when I realized that even though the race sucked, I had set a new PR and not given up. That course was brutal and to beat my previous record by 2 minutes was good enough to put a small smile on my face. I would have liked to have crushed my previous time but it wasn’t going to happen on that course. Here are a few pictures of my beard and my Stoked Mentoring jersey that I was supposed to wear in NYC…
As for the 5K PR, this race was completely different from the half marathon. I knew I hadn’t been training for speed, my goal was to beat my previous 5k time of 21:45 and hopefully break 21 minutes but if I did neither, I was ok with it. I thought it was doable because I was in much better shape than the previous year so my heart should be able to endure any pace my body could. It was cold, the course was somewhat flat and I was focused. 5k’s are a different beast, you have to start at race pace and then try to hold on for 3 miles. The first mile was filled with doubt as my legs and heart warmed up. I kept my eyes on a group of runners that included a tiny girl who was maybe 10 years old, I wanted to stay with that pack or pass them. With about a mile left, I felt like I needed to slowdown but knew I had to fight through it and kept focusing on the finish. The last quarter-mile I began jockeying for position with a girl who had been around me almost the entire race, she looked like she was beginning to give into the pace so I decided to be the motivator that people have been to me in the past. I said, “come on! We are almost done, it’s just around this corner, 100 yards, push it!”. She said, “OK!” and we both sprinted through to the finish. When I stopped my iPhone, I thought, maybe there was an error, it was under 21 minutes! My official time ended up being lower than my phone tracked…20:19, so exhausting but so rewarding! It is worth noting, that little girl was not 10…she was 9, and she finished about 45 seconds ahead of me…and I am not embarrassed to have been smoked by a future Olympian. Here are some more pictures of my beard…
10 Running Goals for 2013 – 2012 was injury free and I can honestly say that I am in the best shape of my post high school life and loving it, so why not keep it going?!
1. Bucket List #28 – Run a Half Marathon in San Francisco – I wanted to run the inaugural San Francisco Rock N Roll Half Marathon this April but dragged my feet because I was hoping to find someone to run it with me…mistake…it is now sold out! Looks like I will have to find another event in San Francisco if I want to cross this one off the list.
2. Bucket List #37 - Run the NYC Marathon – Call me stupid but I am going to stick to NYC as the one and only marathon (as of right now) and give it another go in 2013…I am crossing my fingers for a cool summer and disaster free November in the greater New York area.
Other goals for 2013
3. Run the year injury free! How do I do this? Lots of stretching and cross training. I am committing myself to doing at least one Pilates, Bar Method, Yoga, or cross training style class each week. Can we talk about how intense Bar Method is? If you have ever done this, please tell me that I am not the only one who crumbles into a trembly mass…
4. Go sub 20 5k, sounds easy enough right since I had a low 20′s this year…but that is still going to be difficult to do considering the only 5K I do right now is the Turkey Trot.
5. Run 1,100 miles – I made a 300 mile jump from 2011 to 2012 and I am not sure I can do much more but I am going to try to bump it up a little here and there!
6. Run a 5 minute mile…just one…not sure if it will be possible but I want to try!
7. Run the Camp Pendleton Mud Run without walking. This is probably the most difficult goal of them all…this will truly be an accomplishment.
8. Run a race with an acquaintance from the Blogosphere…does anyone want to run New York?
9. Start a run club in Pasadena. There are already some run clubs in Pasadena but I have a difficult time connecting with those runners. I feel like I want a slightly more aggressive club with people who I might actually enjoy hanging out with after the run. No offense to the current groups I run with…I just want something different and I can’t change your clubs!
10. Run a half marathon out-of-state. Not sure where but doing the Windward Half in Hawaii miserable fun. Any suggestion? Throw some ideas at me!
Races on tap for 2013
February – Rock’n'Roll Pasadena Half Marathon
April – RAGNAR Relay Southern California
June – Camp Pendleton Mud Run
November – ING New York City Marathon
The others are TBD
All in all it was a great year of running and I look forward to many more years!
What are some your 2013 running goals?