Running Metrics

Looking at (some) of my numbers from this round of getting back into running –


  • This does not take into account exhaustion (time of day) or heat
  • The graph does not take into account distance – in general, over longer distances, your body can do less for a given HR.

Most of the numbers are in about the same line – the green line (which is data between 7/2 and 7/19). 

You can see me actually being worse than the blue line (which is data from 6/3 – 6/10).

However, notice that once I got serious and did a “long run” at low HR (the 125 HR on 7/19 which ended up at 90 minutes), my next performance jumped to the north significantly.  This is what HR training (LONG and slow, 50% between L1 and L2) can do for you.

Or, maybe I’m full of falafel and the next piece of data I get will be completely different.

This is kinda fun.   I wonder if I could convert this into a 3D sculpture of sort.

Starting Running Again

This is at least my third or fourth time picking running back up.   I just got to the spot where I could do a (slow) 5k.     What is my awesome secret sauce?

  1. Heart
  2. Muscle strength
  3. Flexibility
  4. Form
  5. Joy


Find and read a book  or website about heart zone training.  In general, it goes like this:  There are different heart zones; You need to keep your heart in “Kinda working, but not very hard” zone, aka “I can still hum a song” zone, for 30+ minutes at a time, to exercise it such that it wants to grow and become stronger.

If you go too fast, and you get to the “I can’t really talk at the same time” zone, or even the “breathing heavy” zone, you’ve left the “lets invest in ourselves” zone and entered the “lion is chasing me deal with it now at expense of future” zone.

If you haven’t got the heart developed, as soon as you start running, your HR will spike up to to ridiculous levels, you’ll be panting, you won’t be able to do it for more than 5 minutes, and you’ll do it so sloppy that you’ll injure yourself.

For me, this is walking at 3.4 mph or so, and breaking out into a very minor jog of about 4.2 mph.   Everybody is different. 

Muscle Strength

Running involves a lot of muscles.  There’s an exercise called the Hundred-Up that’s pretty dang simple.  If you can do the Minor for 100, you’re ready to joggishly run.  If you can do the Major for 100 reps, you’re ready to run fast.  And we’re talking good form, not sloppy, when doing them. 


I am already pretty flexible, so I skipped this, but I think it gets a lot of people.   Here’s what happens: If certain muscles / joints don’t have the right range of motion, then the body still gets it done – but it does it with bad form, at the expense of some other muscle that’s not supposed to bear that kind of load.     There’s a dude wrote a book about it:  Ready to Run.    Also has lots of solutions for each of the problems.  Good book.


This is touched on in the Hundred-Up exercises and the Ready to Run book.   You do NOT want to heel strike.  Bad stuff happens.   More written in the book above; for me, running barefoot was my solution – it re-trained me to land differently.  My cadence went up .. from 150bpm to about 180bpm.   So when I’m jogging at 4.2 mph on the treadmill, I look like a video of a waddling penguin sped up 200%.   Maybe.


Running, for me, is like dancing, or playing the drums.  I love to run with music.   There’s a song, Stompa.  Its way fun to run to.    I have to find my joy in the activity, or it doesn’t stay.


So, here I go.. back in the saddle again.. out where my foot is my friend…

A small victory

There’s a lot of change going on in my life… internal change.   A quick summary would be:  CPAP, sleep, goal setting, sticking to a schedule, kid moved out, gym.

Part of the goal setting thing was to not advertise them, so I won’t.. they have to stay personal, private, and accountable to important people.  What I will say is that this is the calendar I’m trying to stick to, with blessings from my partner:


The idea at first was to work out after work, as the gym is on the way home.  However, that ran into a few things:

  • I had to take the right Gym clothes with me at the start of the day
  • I had to transition from work to gym clothes and then back out to winter coldness
  • If I was going to bring home take-home, it had to be near the gym
  • I got home all sweaty

So, today, we reversed it.   I brought home takeout first, and then hung out with my darling, and THEN, with her blessing (I’m a little co-dependent at times), I went back out to the gym.. already in my gym clothes.

image It was awesomely wonderful!  I ran PI miles (3.14) .. there were less people there, I could get on the treadmill when I wanted.. I was not on a schedule so I ran an extra 15 minutes or so because I was feeling good.. heck, I was dancing on the treadmill.  Yeah, one of those guys.  Not sorry. 

And then I got home, did a few more messy things involving garbage, then took a shower.. transitioning to “self” time – which I’m spending typing up this blog post.

Life is Good. 

Separate post about picking up running again.   I forget what I’ve posted about already and what I haven’t.

[S|V]andalizing some Flip-Flops

I has modified some Fleep-Flawps.

2014-10-04 19.09.56

My wife thinks I’ve lost my mind.   She refuses to be seen with me, or let me be seen by others, wearing them.  That’s okay, I can live with that.   In-house only.

Points being:

  • That is elastic shoelace cord .. without damaging the shoelace (no cutting!).   They were removed from another pair of dressy brown sneaker-like things – replaced with black elastic to make them blend in a bit better.  (Once again, a stylistic difference between my grown up and my inner juvenile)
  • They don’t flip or flop anymore either.
  • It holds the flip flop sandal snug up against my inter-toe’s.  I can even run in these things.
  • I don’t have to squish my toes to hold on to it anymore.  I can let my feet spread apart.  This is functionally very good for me.  (Here’s why toe-hold is not so good)
  • It’s a zero-drop solution – which is what I’m used to.  Try finding sandals which have no drop.  Just try.  We spent the day at DSW, Off Broadway Shoes, and Quest Outdoors, and not a single fudging pair has zero drop.   (Keens has a pair that comes close, but they didn’t have it in my size)    [Drop == the front is lower than the rear, or a “heel”.  I cannot handle heels anymore, my feet have grown back to barefoot-comfortable state]
  • The backs stuck out too far – so I measured it, and cut it off, with a pair of scissors.   Yet another reason why my wife won’t let me be seen in these.

I think that if somebody came up with a simple velcro loop thing, and some good marketing, they could make a possible killing with it.   If you do this, I just want a few pairs, thanks.  Maybe I’ll learn how to sew.  Hmm.

(I love my life, and my wife, btw)

Code Louisville 2.0, Shelving Various Things, New Tech

Tonight was my first night of mentoring at Code Louisville 2.0.  I don’t know if I’d mentioned it before; I volunteered to be a mentor in a program that the city is putting together.  The City’s viewpoint is, we need more skilled IT people (there’s a shortage).  My viewpoint is, I get to help somebody who wants to learn, to learn something, is good with me.

It went pretty well.  The program is using Treehouse for the source of instruction; the Louisville Free Public Library made a deal with Treehouse to make it available to all library patrons.    The quality of the instruction is pretty decent, and it takes the stress off me for being a source of instruction.  Instead, i just need to share my experience with folks.  Some of them are right at the level of the instruction, some are much more advanced.  It keeps it interesting.

To keep the mentoring / labs interesting, I’m trying to do a mini version of a standup at the start, and then circulate amongst everybody to keep things personal.   I’m trying to keep a live document editable by all going as class notes / links / what did we decide.  I hope its a good example for them, of how to use technology to collaborate.

As a result, though, I’ve had to shelve my architecture build.  I simply don’t have the 4-6 hours it would take for me to go to LVL1 and print out the 3D parts of my house model.  Each part.   Times 8 parts.   Times 4 levels.  Without being a hog.  

My current geeky project inventory:

  • A family project: old 35mm slides converted into slideshow project for delivery at Thanksgiving (where I’ll record everybody’s commentary about what the slides were about)
    • I need to find decent screencast recording software that will let me create a DVD later.  I think I’ll be trying SnagIt.
    • Planning on using Picasa as the presentation vehicle.  My wife has already scanned in all the slides from the negatives.
  • One more birthday song, for my stepson, coming up in December
  • One last soccer banquet slideshow, as requested by one of the kids I know.  He’s a good kid, and yes, I’d be honored. To be delivered probably late November or early December, i don’t know yet.

I’ve also had an infusion of new tech into my life:

  • Samsung_ATIV_Smart_PC_Pro_700T_35511640_06_610x436[1]A Samsung 700T that I got off a co-worker at about 50% of the list price.  This is a Windows 8.1 (thanks Anthony!) tablet device with a keyboard that makes it pass off as a laptop pretty well.  I’m writing this blog post on it.   However, while in tablet mode, the near field pen thingy works perfectly.  It even does the “hover” thing that mice do, that I really miss on the Apple.    And I’m getting used to the flexibility of reaching up and touching instead of trying to force the mouse to get to a certain spot on the screen.
  • A whole house water pressure regulator to cap water pressure at 75 psi.   What was happening was spikes up to the 150’s, which caused the pressure relief valve on the tankless water heater to dump scalding hot water onto the concrete basement floor.

Running wise, I (barely) ran my last half marathon of 2013 (time: 2h48m).  Due to a calf injury, i could not train much – my longest run the month prior was 5.5 miles – but thanks to Mr. Calvin Spears of Occupational Kinetics, I got put back together.  They also used a cool app – it seemed to be called SparkLines, but i can’t find it anywhere – to measure me while I was running, and detect that my form is lop sided when I’m in my right foot.   Good stuff to know.   They also say they can make me faster. 

My running schedule is currently clear of all races.  I intend to sign up for the Polar Express series (3k, 4k, 4mi) which runs Dec-Jan-Feb, as a way to have a goal to stay in shape over winter. 

YMCA Oldham County Days 5k Video!

I did it!   I’ve edited together yet another 5k race video!

Yet Another Caption


This time, my workflow:

  • Don’t pick and choose, stabilize ALL the running camera video.   I carved them up into 2 minute sections, and spent several days clicking stabilize, and walking away.   Some day I should figure out some batch automation for this.
  • Use a 720p format, so I get an automatic clip of the 1080p stabilized footage. 
  • I did not go dual screen this time.  I got everybody on camera as they left, rather than as they came in.  Side effect: less work!
  • Strategic use of “cross” vs “dip” to hint at when a story line was changing.
  • I had some problems with picking a consistent font.   Some day, I’ll find a font I like.
  • Once the music started, I was able to cut/trim/fit the running video to the music. 

I only had two stories I could really tell in interview style:

  • History of the race (thank you Bill!)
  • Hot.

But I managed to fit in some little tidbits:

  • Downtown LaGrange.. Oldham County days.. band playing, etc.
  • The 1 mile is a different route than the 5k for this race.  Which means, you can see the 1 mile winners on their way back!
  • The interrupting Tra…  “Toot Tooot” …ain. 

Guest appearances:

  • The guy in the golf cart is Corey, he runs the indoor soccer program for the Y.
  • Shannon runs Oldham County Physical Therapy, they are wonderful.  They fixed me up after ITBand’11.
  • Bill the sign guy helps with signage at almost all the local races.  Including the PPJ10mi.
  • 1st place winner lady = last year’s overall winner.
  • 1st place winner guy Sean R = former soccer teammate of my stepson’s.
  • A bunch of the winners are related to each other.   There’s a family who is in to running.   I should interview them some time.

It’s a bit harder with the camera on the front.  If I run hard, my hands get in the way.  On the other hand, with the camera on my head, stabilizing the footage is much harder.   I wonder If I can find a nice person with a running stroller for the next race, put the camera on the stroller.. Hmmm..

The next one up is Fastline 5k.  I know almost nothing about Fastline (the printing company) .. I guess I’ll get to find out!

The Color Run (Louisville, KY 2013)

It took a while (life) but I finally got the video trimmed and uploaded:

Ye Ole Caption


Yay! I joined one of.. 4000+ results?    Everybody had a video.    And I joined late, so all the people searching for it, have already chosen their favorites and moved on.    Down, Ego, Down..  Pop original motive:  To represent “what I love” about the races I’m running this year.  And give an outlet for my video create/organize/edit urge.

For this video, I had one camera on my forehead, and another on a chest strap / reversed / pointing backwards.  This had some challenges:

  • Chest strap was not made to be worn backwards, and so it rubbed up against my front neck/chest area uncomfortably.
  • Because I could not see where the camera was pointing, and it was at chest level, and the race was mostly populated by women, I got some footage that was, possibly invasive of the person’s space.  This mostly happened at the start.. and at the finish when everybody was throwing color in the air.   I tried to ensure I cut out anything that would be embarrassing, but I wonder if I missed something.   Solution: cut out the backward pointing video as necessary.  
  • Battery life!   Hero 3 chews through it like crazy, compared to the Hero 960.   Observe when the camera got turned off for a bit (not sure why) in the middle of the video.
  • Presentation:  I went the easy way out; I didn’t try to choose front vs back, I just showed the whole thing.  Which actually is accurate – it really is that chaotic there.
  • Stabilization:  Chest moves left/right a lot when I run.   However, that’s easily handled by Warp Stabilizer.. at the cost of 1 hour per 5 minutes of video or so.    On the flip side, Warp Stabilizer against the head-mounted camera didn’t work, the camera view angle moves around too much.

About the race itself:

  • Its not a race.  It’s a casual walk / jog with a bunch of screaming, yodeling, skipping, and general goofing off.
  • Go with goofy friends.  I was in good company.
  • Protect your phone!
  • The color won’t last.  Even if you try to save it with vinegar etc.  So don’t worry about staining stuff too much.  (well, it might give a hint of a shade)
  • There are multiple waves.  I was in Wave 5?   Somebody else I met was in Wave 14, I think they said. 

About the video edit:

  • I tried to keep everybody who waved at the camera in the final edit.
  • Original was 1 hour and 15 minutes of video.  Cut down to 8 minutes.  Yeah baby.

Good fun.  Highly recommend the race to anybody who even considers it .. yes you can walk it!

The Oldham County Grand Slam #1: Roman Road 5k

This race holds a dear place in my heart, because it was the first 5k I ever aspired to run.  I trained for months leading up to it, and in 2010, I finished it in an impressive (for me) 36 minutes!   This year, after a year off from running, I return, with video camera on head.. to pay homage, tribute, fan love, to my favorite series of races: the Oldham County Grand Slam.


*skreetchinHalt* Hey this is a geeky blog.  Get to the geek, boy-o!

  • Making this video was hard.  What to include? What not to?  Running the course is too many minutes.  All of the finishers is too many minutes.  The awards is too many minutes.  Do I really need to include the bit I did with the guy from Thorntons?  (I wanted to acknowledge that they provided the water).  In the end, I mixed it up a bit with picture in picture – any one thing would be boring by itself, but having multiple things going on makes it just a bit more interesting.
  • I tried using stabilization on the running video, but it was too much for my poor computer (and I ran out of time).
  • I needed to ensure nobody confuses this with something “official”, ‘cause its not. 
  • The storyline of the various teams competing against each other..  well, its interesting, except that the same teams keep winning.  And nobody is stepping up to take them on.  
  • Putting the video camera on my head was probably a bad move.  I think it might be more stable on my chest.  I’ll try that next race.
  • Had some problems with resolution – the old GoPro takes 720p video.   I might have to max-render this at 720, currently both renders are going.  (turns out, 1080i not so bad, so rolling with that)
  • The final video composition was gnarly:


Anyhow, back to the race:

  • Its cute!
  • People know me there!
  • There’s a 1 mile fun run, which is what the kids are getting medals for at the end.
  • Sliced Oranges & Bananas!

There were a lot of stories that I didn’t try to fit into the video:

  • Andrew, hasn’t run since high school, showed up at 7am (the race isn’t till 8:30).   He won first place in his age division.
  • A lady and I chatted at length about heart rate training.
  • The guy with the sign – from a running club in Louisville.  They have four signs.   He used to run, but can’t anymore, but loves to help out.  At the PPJ10M, he goes around and borrows signs from a lot of places and puts them up.
  • Mark, the guy with the microphone, came up with the idea of the grand slam 12 years ago (or so).   Mostly for the family and community of it.

Not sure what I’ll do for the next one.   Probably more of the course and the finish, but sped up a lot more.   There’s a lot more spectators as we go through downtown LaGrange.   Maybe try out the chest strap.  We shall see.

Kentucky Derby Festival Mini Marathon / CodePaLousa Day #2

“Stop calling it a Mini.  There’s nothing “Mini” about 13.1 miles.”   — somebody who probably is not a Marathoner. 

Well, the second half of the Marathon – making the video of it – Its not “over” because the video isn’t “perfect” and I’m a perfectionist, so I’m admitting defeat and uploading it as it is.   Because to succeed would involve more frustration than I pay myself for.   Maxim S1: Dial the perfection knob down to 7 unless I’m getting paid for it.

My wife’s name is Molly but that’s not for her

My hope and intention was to capture some of the “how” it works (for those folks who’ve never been to a bigger running event like this) as well as the “why” its beautiful (the people who run it, the beautiful old people along the road, the general sense of celebration, the life that happens along the way).

I planned poorly – I ran the GoPro at a frame rate (60 fps), shortening the available battery life to 50 minutes, and took too much video at the starting line, so I had to switch to the iPhone for the last bit.   I wish I could have included:

  • The girl who broke her leg, got crutches, and she, and her entire family, are walking the rest of the way to the end.  Beautiful family. 
  • The guy who broke his leg, got crutches and a wheelchair, and he, with a buddy following behind him with the wheelchair, are intent on finishing it.

Other little things that are interesting to me:

  • The lady who ran three halves this year – her shirt said “I can do it.”  
  • If my friend Todd had run 1 second per mile slower, he would not have qualified for Boston.
  • Running into just about everybody I know who runs, including Nick whom I know from Panera who is 72, race-walks Marathons, and hopes to do 6 M’s in 6 days in the North East this year.  And Steve.  And Shannon. 
  • I was able to sit with somebody by the side of the road and listen to her.  Her knee was locking up on her good leg, and she didn’t know how she could keep on going, and she told her friend not to come back for her but her friend wouldn’t listen, and she was frustrated enough to cry to me, a stranger.    Bless you little lady, I hope you did good, whether that was respecting your pain, or finishing your goal.   Please don’t injure yourself, its much more important to stay healthy than to finish one race.

Lessons learned:

  • The most comfortable place for the camera is, in fact, on my head.    On my chest, it vies for attention with the heart rate chest strap and its much harder to aim; and there’s no hope for having it “put away” on my belt.   If you skip to the end of the video, I don’t look too dorky with it.  Although why did I have to dance?
  • I can probably get a much faster time if I didn’t talk as much, or shoot as much video.  Almost everybody I talked with – if you go look up their times via their bib numbers – finished faster than me.   Go figure!
  • Don’t try to mix anything else with a half marathon day.  To whit:

CodePaLousa Day #2

No Problem.  Car is broken, I’ll just ride my scooter to the half marathon, run 13.1 miles, ride home, let the dogs out, ride back to downtown, and attend the last 3-4 sessions, having only missed a keynote and one session.

Problem Number 1.    We parked 1 mile from the start.  In the morning, that seemed like a great idea.   After the race, not so much.  Every sidewalk curb was an oww-portunity. 

Problem Number 2.   Scooter = Windchill;  Windchill against tired fatigued muscles = frozen muscles.  When I got off the scooter at home, I was locked in a “Cowboy Stance”.   I could hardly get the scooter back on its kickstand.  I could not walk up the steps (I had to crawl). 

Problem Number 3.  Given what my wife calls “Marathon Brain”, I very intelligently put away my scooter lock into the under-seat storage, with my keys still attached.   At that point in time, didn’t know where the spare keys were (Separate story, starring the Blinking Red Dot from my unconscious).  This makes transport difficult.

However, I did get to wave at two ‘PaLousers (wait that sounds bad) as I jogged past the Seelbach Hotel at the end of the race.    And that would be my second day of CodePaLousa. 

The good news is, my inability to attend has lead to a grassroots movement – I am dedicating the first weekend in the month to have my own mini-conference – including Pizza, and Board Games, and Microsoft’s Channel 9, and one hour sessions, and a friend or two —  to catch up on videos / presentations on various technologies.  

Papa John’s 10 Miler Video

I had some footage I took during the PPJ10Miler sitting around, that I’ve meant to do something with.

Scenes from the Papa John 10 Miler 2013
  • Stabilization is hard!  especially on iPhone video, where there isn’t a large forgiving field of view like a GoPro.  It took an hour to stabilize the 3 minutes of footage I had, on an i7 processor with 12G of RAM.
  • I scream way too loud for being a camera person.
  • I still had some moire develop on the 1080p video, so I took it down to 720p at a drastically different frame rate (25p).   I ended up doing 4 different renders trying to find something that worked.  60fps helps with the source of this problem, but is a booger on battery power.
  • I should do some test stuff with the different modes of stabilize some time.  Cool blog post about it for me to digest:  In my case, I went with “Position only” to preserve frame space, and removed cropping.   Yep, more research needed..

Anyhow.  10 miler is a fun race.  Its really nice to see the leaders of the pack – usually I only hear about them on websites and stuff like that.   And they have nice technical shirts.   Definitely recommend.