Monday, December 20, 2010

If it doesn’t tick, tock to the guys at Timex

Countdown: Two-Hundred-Fifty Days to IMC 2011!!

Once upon a time – oh the puns will keep coming – I watched the ongoing festivities at the 2010 Ironman Canada Expo.

Eventually, it wasn’t so difficult to miss this larger than life Timex watch (and btw Kory Seder is a big guy).
So ultimately I was keen on figuring out how this Ironman Global Trainer watch with GPS will stack up to the wonderful world of Garmin.

I couldn't resist but try on the not-so-ugly GPS watch for kicks.

The no. 1 question I had for the guys at the Timex tent – Is it compatible to Google Earth? Deep inside, I needed to know if my plan for global domination was really going to work. And really who else better to consult then Timex themselves? Dude at the booth was stumped and had to check with his boss. Turns out they weren’t sure.

Then my second question – what about the structural integrity of these wrist bands, because I have my fair share of broken wristbands whether it’s velcro or plastic. It's uncool how those straps aren't so ironproof for such ironman-related activities.

One of two similar watches I managed to destruct within a year.

The guy pulled out an envelope for me and asked me to return it for repair.
Or visit the website (link:

It was a clever green idea. Or so I first thought..
So later next week I filled out the necessary info and returned it.

The total price for a new wristband including tax and shipping worked out to be just under $17 cad. Sweet.

About 4 weeks later, I was super stoked to have a basically brand new watch. Sadly, only after a first test swim with the new watch, the top left button flew off and the watch died completely on me. The excitement was short lived. =(

Lesson to be learnt, not all green ideas are deemed bulletproof.  Just ask if building a roof made of banana peals is a rad idea?

I was super bummed and consulted Timex this time by email and they told me to just return it. Great thing about these watches is that they actually fit through a letter size envelope slot, so hence the watch I shipped only cost a little more than a loonie for regular postage. =)

Finally today, just a few days shy of christmas I got my (newly repaired)^2 watch. Thank you Timex for the early christmas gift, really appreciated it!! I will try not to break it before the new year. =)

Now that I know the system works, I shall send those other lovely broken watches to Timex. =D

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The nerdiest room space planning tool ever

Big news for the Guo family, we’re going to spend this winter holiday moving! Not anywhere far per se, only a whopping 1.3km of driving distance from current to new place.

Luckily for me, I had already drawn up my furniture back in my glory days of free spiriting, so it wasn’t too difficult to plan out my new room. Yes Google, the nerdiness in me is finally coming out. Next thing you know, I whip out the GPS watch and start importing the data into Google SketchUp (haha just kidding).

My fancy surveying measuring equipment consisted of my own feet. I measured out the new room, and WALL-LA, it came out to be 10.5 by 9.5. Back home, I did the simple conversions. This is what I get.

This room screamed my name, since by default my sister had claimed the other room with the larger closet. That’s correct; no heated arguments necessary, the number one criterion to any room (in my sister’s eyes) is closet square footage.

I imported the items and by trial and error came up with this close to bulletproof optimized plan. Hey presto, check it out.

It fits! ..kind-duh. =)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Race report: Fall Classic Half Marathon

Date/Time: November 21, 2010, 8:39 am (delayed)
Weather: minus 5ish with a few slippery patches and light snow.
Distance: Half Marathon
Chip time: 1:29:06 (4:13 min/km pace)
Age Group: 9/104
Overall: 28/1008

Ah the Fall Classic, it should be better known as the winter classic this year. This must had been perhaps the coldest of the cold Fall Classics I’ve done over the years. The surprise elements of snow and some patches of slippery ice also decided to crash the party this year.

Overall, I’m quite pleased with my time. Didn’t quite PB or even PB in this particular race; however, given the circumstances I managed to pull off a respectable time no less and was super close!

For me, this race was more for adopting a new running technique with the Newton Terra Momentus (here’s a link to a review of the shoe: a good read for those interested).

My soft goal was to go 1:28 and see how far I can keep up with Mr. Liam Harrap this year (last year I got dropped at 5k the first turnaround), but REALLY I really had absolutely no idea how the new shoe and technique would perform in a half marathon race. I’ve only used the shoe in 15ish casual training outings and maybe just a couple intervals speed workouts.

I’ve been cautious with this particular shoe because striking the ground with less surface area is painfully painful from a blister perspective (apologies for my comments, if they offend if not all the Newton lovers out there). I’ve been getting so many with this shoe!!!
I think the whole idea of forefoot and its link to barefoot running is still foreign to me. I didn’t quite get the scale of hype about it, until I saw practically everyone in the leading pack of the Ironman Canada wearing Newton Runners.

I’m more of a mid-sole striker, and really have adapted into it. My Racer ST4 Brooks running flats has always been the PB missile of choice this year.

Okay now for the exciting race details.

Writing this report two weeks late, I guess it won’t be as fresh as newly laid snow (oh yes, pun intended). It was great to see so many people doing this race I knew from the triclub. I wanted to keep up to Liam because he is so steady and fast. He is that person who can run as patient as you and can run that extra 10 second pace faster- a DEADLY combo for the perfect pace buddy.

The race was delayed 8 minutes for some odd reason. In the triclub office during a pre-race gathering, Liam and some other girls particularly called me out for being just WEAK. I guess I just was wearing too much clothes.

Shortly afterwards Liam intelligently recommended ditching the leg warmers entirely and just going with short shorts. On hindsight, what a great suggestion, but then the downside you wouldn’t have been able to see how ridiculous my attire was (fitting with the road conditions obstacles we had).

We held about 4 minute pace, but deep inside something just didn’t feel right for me. My left leg warmer falling down was the least of my problems. The penetrating lug of the Newton shoe just pounded into my layer of cold skin. It was just unbearable at the 5K marker. For those keen and interested, please scroll down to the photographical illustration at the bottom of this post.

Looking at Garmin, I just ended up taking the rest of the race gingerly at around the 4:12ish pace, which was my blister’s tolerable pain threshold. A few runners passed me, and that was perfectly fine.

I finished at around 1:29:10 gun time and felt awkward walking the blister out. I did manage to quickly crash fashionably late into the triclub Sunday’s swim workout and get a solid 500m swim and to ease up the pain in a nice dip into the hottub. This was probably the best decision I’ve made all day.

Special congrats to my pace buddy Liam for holding pace and posting a very impressive 1:24:43 and big congrats to Matt Reeve from the triclub finishing 3rd overall in the 10K race! Very impressive results along with many other notables.

My splits from Garmin

km Pace
1 3:59
2 3:59
3 3:51
4 4:15
5 3:53
6 4:14
7 4:14
8 4:20
21.1 4:12

As UNCOOL as this might be, I think most people would enjoy this! =)

A MANblister! I did you the favour of not going for a zoom-in shot. =)