Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

Wow, I haven’t written a post on this blog since February 24th.  That’s wayyyyy behind.

Well, RL has intruded quite squarely into my writing.  It’s a toss up between the new job and the weather.  The new job is going well, but it’s a lot more tiring than I thought.  I’m pretty beat when I get home in the evenings, physically and mentally.  Add to that the rather longer stretch of cold weather we’ve had in North Texas this year and my motivation for writing seems sapped.

So, I started today on something maybe to change that.  I’m working on making video posts.  I hoped to do up one just in a jiffy…NOT.  I worked last night and this morning on that task and am still not finished with just a short two minute introduction video.  I have it made, but now I need to edit it just a little (cut off the bad front and ending), but I can’t figure out how my editor works.

I have been keeping up on my running and riding, but it’s not as consistent as I’d like.  I’ve managed only one 20 mile week since December.  Most of that problem is just weather.  Tired of the cold mornings.  I couldn’t run this Wednesday because of rain.  I did get up and run a good 8-miler Thursday, but it had just finished raining and dropped into the lower 40’s overnight.  A good run though.  I think the only thing that has gone good is my strength training.  I’ve moved up in weights some.

Not too much more to say today.  I’ve got an evening shift which is the only reason I managed to piece together enough brain cells for this much.  However, Spring is coming and things will be getting warmer.  I’m also finally starting to get comfortable in the new job, so I can shift my brain around a little more.  Happy Running and Cycling!

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OK, let’s see if I can do this. My gift from Santa this year is a Kindle Fire.  I am seeing if I can write my New Year post on it instead of on my laptop.  If you manage to read this, you’ll know I didn’t give up.

I tried it when I got my Android-based smartphone, but the itty bitty screen was frustrating to say the least. I’ve been using my keyboard’s Swype feature with better success on the Fire.  I am also trying out the WordPress app but it remains to be seen whether I like that or not.

It’s New Year’s eve again. Time to talk about where we’ve been and where we might go in 2013.  It has been a traumatic but decent year here. I opened the year thinking my running would take off after finishing my first marathon in December 2011. But, my overconfidence and incorrect recovery led up to an injury in late January. I ran my first 15K race that month with little training followed by a swimming injury.

That problem put me out of commission for nearly two months and kept my workouts down through April.  I did more riding in that period and got in several good 100K rides.  By Summer, my running picked back up and I gradually increased to 20 mile weeks. I ended the Summer with a decent ride at Hotter-n-Hell and without a job.

Since I had signed up for my second marathon during the Summer, it was best to keep up the training while job searching.  My running had improved even with the injury outage because I had added strength training. A PR at a Fall 10K and a really good marathon finished my year on a decent note.

Hopefully, my job search will also soon be over.  I go this week for an interview for a really good job.  I have a good chance and I hope to do well on the interview.

So, for now, I am not making any plans for 2013.  I have some wishes about what I’d like to do.  I would like to maintain my 20 mile weeks all year.  I would like to run a few half marathons and try some trail running.  I am hoping to keep my riding up and maybe add some mountain biking to the mix.

Well, that’s probably enough for now. It seems I have managed to write a full blog post on the Fire.  I like this tablet.  It frees me from the laptop. 

I will probably need a nap today so I can stay awake tonight.  I wish all of you a wonderful, happy, safe, and prosperous New Year.  May the Lord bless you and keep you.  May he make His face to shine upon you.  Happy swimming, riding, and running!

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With only two weeks until the MetroPCS Dallas Marathon, I had my second to last long run this morning.  I think that my timing was perfect.  I elected to begin a half hour later knowing I would have to deal with traffic on a Saturday morning, but the extra sleep would be nice.  However, to my surprise, it seems that Black Friday shopping turned into my blessing.  The roads were pretty sparce.

My goal today was just 12 miles.  It seems odd to be using the word ‘just’ along with ’12 miles’, but it’s true.  Four years ago, I couldn’t (and wouldn’t) have said something that sounds so weird.  In any case, rather than running my regular 12-miles-at-a-go route, I thought I’d just run my 6 mile loop twice.  That shouldn’t be hard since I’ve been doing loops all Fall for my long runs.

I took off just after 6 AM.  The streets were still dark for about a half hour.  I expected the traffic to be low at that time.  What I didn’t expect was that after running for more than an hour, the streets were still empty.  Even down near the finish of the run at close to 9AM, traffic was still very light.  So, I suppose that since so many folks must have worn themselves out shopping on Black Friday, today should have been a boon to most runners.  I wonder if any other runners also had a great run with little traffic today?

Also, I thought I’d throw in an update on the BikeIrving.org website.  It is getting closer to reality.  I have worked with owner’s domain and been able to point it to my server to see how it works.  I’ve also gotten WordPress loaded and set up for the pages that won’t have something to do with mapping.  It is looking a lot more like a web site now.  I’m also down to the last real mapping task and that is to be able to save and recall routes.  I have a plan on how to do so and now just need to implement it and make it work.

I guess there are folks out in the real world that can probably put sites out like this in a heartbeat.  I would probably be further along as well, but my full time job right now is finding a job.  Probably the other slowness is the way that I work.  I’m a hacker.  No, not the kind that tries to break into the CIA, or the DOD.  A hacker is a coder; a programmer.  I just really enjoy writing code and seeing it work.  I like even more seeing my code do things for people.  There are probably lots of faster ways to make web sites, but I still like mine.  Except for what I do with WordPress, I use a text editor for the special stuff.  Yep, that’s right; a plain old text editor–no drag and drop, no point and click.

But enough about such foolish things.  You didn’t stop by here to debate the pros and cons of text editors.  Thanksgiving is a great time of year.  It is time to be thankful for all the things we have.  I am thankful that I have my family.  I am thankful that I am blessed by God with so many things.  I am thankful that I get to get up in the morning and run or ride or whatever.  There are so many in our world with so much less and they are still thankful for what they have.  We are blessed beyond measure for things we probably don’t deserve.  So I am glad that on this Saturday, I get to get out and run and do some work that will help others.  Happy running!

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It seems that this new cold front is getting here just in time.  Tomorrow is the Cool Run 10K/5K in my town.  It’s held each year at the end of October by a local foundation to help raise money to fight cancer.  It was the first race I ran four years ago in 2008.  I have run the 10K each time and have improved each year.  Last year was my best at 1:06:10.  I’m still looking for that 1 hour or less 10K.

It’s a really fun race and the organizers put on a good one for the runners.  It’s local, but it does bring out some of the better runners from around the area as well as a good showing from the high school cross country teams.  I run it with a group of runners called Jo’s Team which honors a person we all knew that we lost because of cancer.  In addition to good running, it’s got the best food I’ve been to for any race of this size.  A local pizzeria named I Fratelli’s is right next door to the race and always brings out some of their great pies.

I’ve been fond of this race for a number of reasons.  It was my first and that is special.  It is also a good benchmark for where I am at in just running improvement.  I’ve been able to observe that I have gone from someone just barely able to finish the 10K to actually thinking I can compete, sort of.  Finally, it is also a good warmup for whatever I’m doing in December, whether it be a half or the full as I’m doing this year.

bikeirving screenshot

Test Site for the new BikeIrving.Org web site showing first tests of Google Maps API

However, I want to take a little while today to talk about a large (I mean really) project I am working on with a friend.  We are trying to build a web site for our city that will help us provide road and path data to the city on where cyclists are riding and commuting.  With this data we can help inform the city on where infrastructure and enhancements are needed because of known traffic patterns.  It will be a little similar to a site like mapmyride.com except that it will focus just on our city and we’ll be able to pull reports out of the database for presentation work (we hope).

To do this site, I had to start learning some new skills.  I had to begin learning the Google Maps Javascript API.  It is a geomapping extension born out of Google’s work on it’s maps.google.com site.  Though it’s free; easy it isn’t.  I’ve had to really extend my knowledge of Javascript in order to just make this small test work. And, I’ve still got a lot to do.

Currently, the only thing you can do at the site, which you can access here, is to select a starting address, plot a route on the map, and you can print out a list of the latitudes and longitudes from your route.  Probably none of this will be quite the same in the final version.  But, I am interested in getting folks’ reactions to it.

Though there are still many things to do just on this portion of the mapping, I will have to turn it aside for a bit to start working on the database portion.  The concept is that cyclists will be able to come to the site, register and provide a little bit of demographic data, then map the routes they often use for commuting or other reasons.  Then, on the back end, we can pull up common maps showing multiple routes and where these intersect with roads.  To do that, I will have to build a database of users and a database of routes, plus a content manager to help us use the site.  It will also be a place to post events about and for cycling in our city.  Because it’s a public site, we’ll also need to put a privacy notice in place and establish means to keep folks information private.

I have no idea how long it will take to finish such a site, but I am making progress.  I’m going to be getting some help on it soon, I think.  Currently, I have it hosted on my own server.  I don’t yet know where the final location will be, just yet.  In the meantime, I’m still job hunting.  Still trying to be patient and wait upon God‘s timing for how things will go.  I am encouraged by seeing where He is working in the process this week.  So, this afternoon, I’ll spend some more time on the web site and tomorrow, I’ll just go and have a Cool Run in the morning.  Happy Running (and Cycling)!

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It seems that my Fall training time for the Dallas Marathon may be fairly flexible.  I received recent notice that my job of the last four years is ending this month.  That happens, though I was still unprepared for it.  I was rather liking what I had been doing the past four years.  Now, I have to decide what is next, which is just not that easy to accomplish.

I will do alright for a while as I did receive a good severance deal from my employer.  So, I have a little time in which to formulate a good plan.  There are lots of choices but no clear direction or answers.  I am toying with the idea of doing some tech work on my own.  I’m not a web designer, but I do know a lot about setting up the systems and technologies so that companies can communicate with their clients and customers (I will not argue with folks on the most effective color of purple).  It doesn’t really take a designer to get an organization’s presence and message clearly out onto the Internet.  Yet, many don’t really know what to do with some of the newer things like social media.  To paraphrase what I read today in an article by Bob Sullivan of MSNBC, organizations are being told they need to be in social media, but they don’t know how to use it effectively.

I have taken a little time to finally get off my duff on one of my personal pet projects.  I now run my own Linux Server, with a real name.  I kept it kind of low key for a long time but I got a good deal on a domain name this week and decided it was time to push things out there.  My server can be reached at http://www.tardisgallifrey.com.  I’ve called it the T.A.R.D.I.S. Server Project II, after my favorite BBC character’s transportation device.  It is a big blue police box on the outside, but it is much bigger on the inside.  I kind of see servers in that same light, bigger on the inside than on the outside.  It doesn’t do a whole lot just yet, but the web site is functional and I can receive e-mail via the address I have posted there.

I missed my 8-miler on Wednesday because of thunderstorms.  I literally woke up at 4AM and before I left the bed it was FLASH, BOOM…and oh well, back to bed.  I got caught out once this Spring in a thunderstorm and they aren’t that nice for runs.  So, instead, tomorrow I will run a 9-miler on my “usual” long run day as the prequel to my marathon training, which will start in earnest the very last Saturday of August.  Additionally, a very hard project at work had me on my feet most of the week and I even missed running Thursday just for an extra rest day.

After the run, hopefully, I’ll get on the bike for my last training ride before Hotter-n-Hell 100 2012!  Probably no more than just an hour on the bike after the long run.  Yes, I believe I am ready for next Saturday’s ride.  Or, at least as ready as I can get.  It’s been four years since I made the hundred the last time.  It’s time to do so again, and this year, we get to do it on a different bike and a different route.  This year, all the riders will get to go through the Sheppard Air Force Base rest stop.  I understand it’s better than cool.

I’m going to take my 1986 Fuji to this ride.  After the work I did in the Spring, new wheels, beefing components up and putting on new brakes, it feels like a new bike.  I’ve ridden it the most often on training rides and I can hold a good pace without working too hard.  That will be key in the first 60 miles of the ride.  You really need to hit 60 miles feeling like you have another 40 in you.  You don’t really, but you need to feel like you do.

Changes are coming around my house.  Fall will approach soon and with it will be a whole host of new things and events.  I have already signed up for almost all my Fall races, so at least I do not have to decide on those.  I know I’ll be busy, but my training does not stop.  I have to do just what I’ll be doing for my marathon training, put a plan together and then follow it out to its conclusion.  Been there.  Done that already.  Happy Running!


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