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Archives for April, 2010

American teams such as Garmin-Transitions, HTC-Columbia, Team Radioshack and BMC are expected to rack up impressive results during the Tour of California next month — but it’s the smaller teams that could really light things up early in the race.

Team Type 1, Jelly Belly, Bissell and the smaller American teams can make stage racing exciting as they attack, create breakaways, and force the big boys to ride.  I gladly support these teams when they get the chance to race in front of a large audience, but there is one specific team that deserves special praise.

Every time Team Type 1 races — and gets in the newspapers — the team helps raise awareness about Type 1 diabetes.

Team Type 1 is the team I’d like to focus on leading up to the event, as this UCI Continental race team has an interesting background (courtesy of Team Type 1 Media Kit):

Team Type 1 was created in 2004 by Phil Southerland and Joe Eldridge, a pair of avid cyclists with Type 1 diabetes. In 2006 and 2007, the pair captained Team Type 1 to back-to-back victories in the eight-person team division of the Race Across America (RAAM). In 2008, the team grew to include a 15-rider professional continental team that included four riders with Type 1 diabetes.

In their inaugural pro season, Team Type 1 compiled 45 victories, including winning the team classification at the Tour de Beauce and the Vuelta Mexico and placing two riders (Glen Chadwick and Moises Aldape) in the Olympic road race in Beijing.

If you’re interested in following in the adventures of Team Type 1, I’d recommend following the team’s official Twitter account.  I hope to learn more about the team in the coming weeks, and hope to share some neat information with you.

Hey Team Type 1, best of luck during the Tour of California next month!

Running, exercise and happiness

We have been getting a lot of thoughts, messages, blogs and links from people who don’t understand why running does not make them happy.  I am not a therapist or someone who studies happy people but I do have 15 years experience of running and being happy.

I will start off with the anecdote of how I went to a grocery store with one of my gloomy friends who is totally self-centered and thinks the world sucks.  This friend told me how the store is a good store but the people are all terrible and unfriendly.

When we walked through the store, every employee said hello to me.  I thought this was curious but then I noticed my friend walks through stores with a lowered head and a scowl on his face.  This is what made me realize that it is our outlook on life that reflects on others and they respond to that positive outlook.

When I walk around there is usually a good chance that I am going to be in high spirits.  I like to swim in the morning before work, run or spin at lunch and either relax or do yoga after work.  That makes the probability of running into me after a workout high.

When I workout, I am happy to workout and I carry that happiness with me throughout the day and share it with other people.  People take that energy from me and give some of it back.  They always give the happiness back.

It also helps that I carry a lot of confidence from being so fit.  All of you who did a 13-mile or longer run know how much better your waistline looks now that you started endurance training.  For you beginners out there, you will start getting toned in no time.

Happiness comes from within.  Accept things as they are and carry cheerfulness with you throughout the day and soon you will find yourself happy to working out and it will carry on with you all of the time.

Shout Out: SF Marathon and GU

GU recently guest posted a blog entry on the official San Francisco Marathon Blog… and I think it’s worth a read.  The company explains the importance of properly re-fueling during a race, along with what our bodies need when running distance events.

Here is the opening paragraph of the blog:

As you ramp up your training volume here are a few things to keep in mind that the scientific community has learned about endurance nutrition. The team at GU Energy is proud to be the official on-course energy product of the San Francisco Marathon and we have spent nearly 20 years working with professional athletes and leading scientists to formulate and optimize performance energy products for endurance athletes.

The actual blog entry explains calories, carbs, fluids, electrolytess, and the importance of the “Glycogen window.”

I discovered this blog entry after the SF Marathon folks tweeted the link.

Bummer… BMC Rider Popped For EPO Use

I know this isn’t a cycling news site, but I know many of you follow the Tour de France and other major races.

Swiss BMC cyclist Thomas Frei was caught doping and has been suspended by Team BMC. The rider admitted he took micro-dose EPO treatments since 2008, though was only caught because he got sloppy.

“It is correct, that I have taken EPO. Therefore there is no sense in opening the B sample. There is no point in hoping for the off-chance that it will be negative,” a Swiss newspaper published, according to the Cyclingnews.

I do not condone doping – and still believe most people in the pro peloton are dirty – but appreciate that Frei stepped up and admitted he did it. His disclosure also shows that that the battle against doping continues to be difficult, with most cheaters likely slipping through the cracks.

At just 25 years of age, Frei should be able to serve his two-year suspension, keep training, and race in Europe again a couple of seasons from now.

Injuries tend to be an unfortunate part of running, cycling, and endurance athletics.  Many of us have suffered from sprains, strains, and other nasty little injuries.  Perhaps you’ve occasionally seen athletes wearing brightly colored pieces of tape, but still don’t know what this tape is for.

To explain the basics of kinesiology tape, I’d recommend reading this article written by Ted before reading this interview.

…… Now that you’re hopefully familiar with these products, today Alameda Runners interviews Rocktape, a company that specializes in products aimed at injury prevention.  You can reach the company’s FAQ page here.

Rocktape currently offers both printed and video-based instructions designed to help inform customers how to use the product.  Putting the tape on by yourself – especially if you’re inexperienced – can be a relatively daunting experience.

“When it comes to injuries, you should always consult with a medical pro. After you’re confident that your condition is treatable with tape, simply follow the instructions we provide, or have your medical pro provide guidance. When it comes to taping for performance, it is a much easier procedure since there isn’t an injury involved. Simply follow the instructions; if you wrap a birthday present you can tape yourself!”

We discuss the cost of Rocktape, risk of improper use, and more after the break! Read more… »

Ted and I ran the Alameda Education Foundation (AEF) Run 4 Education 5K in Alameda, a day after running the extremely difficult Wildcat Half Marathon. Prior to the race, neither one of us was sure what to expect from the 5K.  How would our legs recover after a hard effort the day before?  Ted shared his thoughts about the run already, but I figured I would whip up a review as well.

The course began across the street from the Sushi House, ran up Shoreline, turned around by the bathhouse, and flew back down to the start/finish line.

The gun sounded and a group of 10 people flew off the front of the race, with a couple of others pacing their way up to the leaders.  I ran with the leaders for less than a mile before I was dropped out the back of the group, as I’m clearly not fit enough for a 21-minute 5K. My legs were screaming just a half mile into the race, but I kept trucking forward.  I cleared my first mile in less than 7:30 – a pace I normally don’t keep when training – so I was honestly unsure what would happen later.  As expected, I began to slow down a bit as we left Shoreline and headed into the Crown Memorial State Beach land. The rest of the entry can be found after the jump. Read more… »

FYI for all Alameda and East Bay residents. Bike Alameda has two free bike safety classes scheduled for adults and teenagers next month.

The classes will take place on Saturday, May 1 (2:30 – 5:30) and Saturday, May 29 (2:30 – 5:30).  Both classes will be at the First Congregational  Church of Alameda Social Hall (1912 Central Ave).

The classes are designed to give riders more information regarding riding in traffic, how to avoid crashes and on-road incidents, and basic safety rules of the road.

It’s a three-hour class, and everyone who finishes the class receives a free helmet.  Visit the Bike Alameda Web site to learn more about the classes.

Wildcat Half Marathon Race Recap

I ran the Brazen Racing Wildcat Half Marathon from El Sobrante on Saturday, which was my second half marathon.  It seems Ted was thinking about talking me out of signing up, but I went ahead and registered before he told me how nasty this course would be.

We briefly covered this event, but this post expands the topic a bit further.

I went ahead and registered for the event before I bothered to closely evaluate the course profile.  Before I jump into my race experience, let me first say that this route was definitely hard!  It seemed like we were either going up or down a hill, through mud, or on single-track the entire 13.1-mile course.

The gun sounded at 8:30, and it only took a couple hundred yards into the race before everyone had to tackle the first climb of the day.  I briefly looked at the map before we started, but I didn’t realize my lungs were going to explode within the first mile.

Up, up, and up some more!  The uphill portions were steep enough they forced most people to walk, and the downhills were fast and dangerous.  We passed a few people going up the hills, only to see them fly down the hill at speeds that looked somewhat hazardous.

The rest of the blog post is available after the jump.


That’s right… last night I registered for the 28th Annual California International Marathon, which takes place  on Dec. 5.  The 26.2-mile marathon course runs from Folsom to Sacramento.

It seems fitting my first major marathon will take place almost one year after I started running seriously since middle school cross country.

Ted and I have been running together during events, but this will likely be one of the few times we don’t end up reaching the finish at the same time.  CIM is one of Ted’s major goals for the season, and I’m not sure what kind of shape I’ll be in come December.

Course map:

I’m running the Santa Rosa Marathon in late August, and then will also run a half marathon in Folsom.

The Folsom half will be the event where Ted  takes off to really test his form — and I have the pleasure of seeing if his prediction of my first time being able to beat him comes true.  He beat me by about two minutes during the 5K yesterday, so I obviously have some work to do.  (It’s just a fun competition to see if the added motivation propels my running to a new level come this fall.)

Disclaimer:  I’m going to post a number of CIM-related entries this summer, especially as my excitement during training increases.

Alameda Run 4 Education

Today, Michael and I represented Alamedarunners at the run 4 education 5k run.  It was a bit difficult for us because we ran a tough half marathon in Wildcat canyon yesterday.  After the first half mile, I realized my legs were tired then I put it on cruise and had a good time.  I was dominated by some little guys on the local cross country teams.  It is fun to be involved with their excitement.  They did not want some old guy to catch up to them in any way, shape or form.

The photos are located here

The weather was perfect for a 5k.  It was a balmy 75 degrees today.  Two waves of the little guys started out with a 100-yard dash down the street that was so cute.  All of those little legs spinning down a course lined by parents and big people who were standing by to make sure nobody strayed out into the street.  It was also comical to watch as some parents ran behind their kids, encouraging them to try and beat the kids around them.

Next up was the 5k.  I can’t say too much about it because I was running.  I can say the course was lined with cones and Alameda Police Volunteers.  The volunteers were friendly and cheering everyone on as we ran by.  We even had chip timing for the run.  I assume the chips and timing system were donated but it was a nice touch for a small event.  They set up a stage for some local entertainment afterward.

We got to listen to live music from the high school kids while were hanging out getting drinks and waiting for a massage.  A big shout out to Ada from ProBalance physical therapy who was out donating her time to give out massages to earn money for the schools.  Ada helped out with massages and tips to prevent injuries from the tight muscles she was massaging.

I was just a runner who was basically donating the $25 entry fee to help the local community but I am glad I did.  I feel privileged to be able to do some small part to help the community.  Alamedarunners began as a concept to get the runners in Alameda together for events and training.

We are still learning about the responsibility that comes with a growing site and how the community relies on all of us to get things done.  I realize we all tend to live in isolation because of our training routines but we should get together more often to get to know each other.  We are slowly coming together and we are slowly learning how to come together with the community.  Hopefully we will have a better turn out from Alamedarunners next year.  It would have helped if I knew about the event and advertised it but that is all part of the learning experience.