Dust Off Your Running Shoes

The snow is melting, the weather is warming, the daylight is no longer on the wane. Dust off your shoes and run.

I have lofty running goals for this year. A goal is not goal however, until it is written down. Therefore:

  1. I will run a 5k in under 20 minutes
  2. I will run a 10k in under 45 minutes
  3. I will run the Top of Utah Marathon
  4. I will get my wife to run with me in at least 3 races
  5. I will compete in the following events
    • Red Cross Run For Red 5k (Mar 8 )
    • Provo City 5k (Apr 5)
    • Salt Lake City 1/2 Marathon (Apr 19) [tentative]
    • Orem Firefighter’s 5k (Jun 14)
    • Wasatch Back Relay (If I can find a team) (Jun 20-21)
    • Run Through the Lavendar (Jun 28)
    • Freedom Festival 10k (Jul 4)
    • Deseret Morning News 5 or 10k (Jul 24)
    • Top of Utah 1/2 Marathon or Hobble Creek 1/2 Marathon (Aug 23)
    • Top of Utah Marathon (Sept 20)
    • BYU Cougar Run (Oct 2008 TBA)
    • Thanksgiving 4mi (Nov 27)

Bring on the Icy Hot.

Photography 101

Lesson 1: How to take blurry pictures.

  1. Set camera on low ISO setting
  2. Take action shots
  3. ???
  4. Profit!

Apparently cameras have this thing called ISO…and all this time I thought ISO was a disk image on your hard drive…how silly of me. My lack of photog skills has produced a fantastic flickr photo set documenting (blurrily) my latest trip to the Utah Jazz game. Rather than enjoying the game from my usual lofty perch, I was lucky enough to be seated on row B (thanks Pop!) right behind the Jazz bench.

More about the game tomorrow. For now you can browse the photos on flickr (remove eye-glasses before viewing…you won’t notice the difference).

Running Meets Technology

cf-lg.jpgIt used to be that I’d only strap on a single gadget when I’d go running. Just me and my trusty iPod, strapped to my arm and powering the awesome Sennheiser headphones I purchased a while back. Well I’ve added another gizmo to the routine and I think this one puts me ever closer to being accepted as a “real” runner (come on all you elitist running jerks…you know as well as I do that if someone doesn’t have a Garmin Forerunner strapped to their wrist they’re not to be taken seriously). I finally broke down and purchased a Garmin Forerunner 205. I passed on the 305 because I wasn’t convinced the extra $100 for the heart monitor strap was worth it. Besides, who wants to know how close they are to a pulmonary embolism while they’re running.

Now that I’ve had a few week to play with my new toy, I gotta say, I’m loving it. It has all the functionality you’d expect from a GPS but it really shines as a training aid. You can display all sorts of data on up to 3 data screens including pace, distance, current lap time, overall time, elevation etc. You can save courses and compare your performance on a given course over time and you can compete with a virtual training partner! The full list of features can be found on the Garmin Forerunner 205 Product Page….check it out, you’ll be impressed.

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Now, if the watch alone weren’t cool enough, I’ve recently discovered an awesome website that let’s you map your workout routes online: www.mapmyride.com. What does that have to do with the watch you say? Well the website developers created an awesome little utility that will take the routes from your Forerunner and upload them to the website directly. I’ve used the site for quite a while, but I used to input my routes manually which was laborious and prone to inaccuracies…now I’m in heaven.

Here is my profile on MMR with links to some of the routes I’ve uploaded.

Being the gadget addict I am, I’m convinced that very soon I’ll look very much like Locutus while I’m out jogging around…Resistance [training] is fruitful…

PS – The Garmin Forerunner 205 gets the official Gale Force Seal of Approval!

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The Jazz Have Left The Building

I’m watching the Jazz game…San Antonio is leading by 23 points.  But wait!  That’s not the worst part…the worst part is that it’s still the first quarter!

<deep breath>

Unfortunately for Jazz fans there are a lot of questions and few answers.  When did things go horribly wrong for the team?  How could they advance to the conference finals and then play like they did against San Antonio?  Why kind of bad mojo affected Mehmet?  Who has cooler tattoos: D-dub or Booz?  Why is AK such an emo?  We may never have the answers…but at least we have the entire summer ahead of us to think about it.

Post Game Update: As expected, the Jazz lost…and they did it in craptaculous fashion ultimately trailing by 25 points at the final buzzer.  It’s going to be a long plane ride home for the team…I hope they can tell themselves they left it all out on the court, but from what I saw in game 5, nobody did.

The Jazz Have Left The Building

PS – Sorry Suz…I thought for sure they’d make it back home for game 6 :(  I’ll still give you the tickets for the game…they’ll make a nice bookmark.

Jazz vs. Spurs Game 2: Expectations to the Left of Me…Reality to the Right…

By Devin Hansen – Inaugural Guest Blogger

Greetings, Gale Force readers. I’m honored to be guest posting on the increasingly famous Gale Force Blog today for the first time. How unfortunate that the monumental occasion comes under such unfortunate circumstances.

But before I get into the meat and potatoes, let me preface this by saying that I’m a glass half-full kind of fellow. I’m a self-proclaimed optimist at heart, but I also try to ground myself with a healthy sprinkling of realism to keep my expectations of things at a reasonable level. So when the Jazz made it into the playoffs this year, I was hopeful they would turn the junky end-of-season play around and pull out a series win against the Rockets, and they stepped up and made it happen, just for me. Then they moved on against the Warriors, and I said to myself, “Self, the Jazz are going to win this series, I’m fairly sure of it.” And again, they did not disappoint.

Then it was on to the Western Conference Finals, and the story changes here a bit.

You see, it’s not that I’m disappointed that the Jazz have lost the first two games, and it’s not even that I’m abandoning all hope that they could still pull out a win in the series and go to the finals (hope is dim, but still burning). The issue is the manner in which the Jazz lost. We, the citizens of Jazz Nation, have now had to suffer through two nearly identical games. Jazz start out strong in first quarter, fall apart in second quarter, enter half down just shy of 20 points, fight their guts out in second half, come up short still by 10 or so points, never closing that defecit to closer than 7. Now I wasn’t so suprised to see that in game 1. It was a big transition from playing the run and gun Warriors to the inside power Spurs, so there was going to be some effort required for the Jazz to shift gears, but I expected (in all honesty) a much closer, more evenly matched loss to the Spurs in game 2. My expectations were realistic, I believe, but went sadly unfulfilled.

Now I could go on at length in an analysis of why the Jazz lost the way they did (and believe me, there were plenty of reasons), but instead I want to post my snapshots of the problems the boys in blue created for themselves and let you, Gale Forcers, analyze to your the content of your collective hearts. So here we go:

  1. All five starters need to play like starters! Boozer and Williams posted great offensive games, but without help elsewhere, they can’t beat a team like the Spurs.
  2. I’ll excuse Fisher a little for shooting so poorly, but Memo’s game-long string of bad shot choices and lame-duck, half-hearted efforts to post up get the stink-eye award.
  3. I could strangle AK for making bad pass after bad pass, trying so hard to do too much in clever passes that only went straight to the Spurs.
  4. Is anybody on this whole team going to ever defend a baseline 3-point shooter? Good grief!!!
  5. The Spurs could put their grandmother on the court and the Jazz would have given her a lane to drive the basket.
  6. Leave Millsap on the floor! He was the only bench player who hustled without looking downright frantic. Giricek always screws up, and Harpring didn’t play up to the level I usually expect from him. And let’s see Rafa get some more minutes. He’ll certainly make the Spurs pay for driving in, even if he doesn’t mean to…he’s just that big.

That should about cover it for now. I’m building up another head of steam and I don’t know if I can keep from Hulking out again if I start thinking about it. My hope for the Jazz now is that they do what they did against the Rockets and Rally themselves back into contention on their home court. So get it together for Saturday, boys. You may lose the series, but I expect you to put up a fight at least.

Seal Of Approval

seal.gifI’ve decided to add a new feature to my blog. I know I know…my witty commentary on life combined with my intelligent writing style doesn’t leave much room for improvement…but I’m a progressive-ist. With that said, I am officially introducing the “Gale Force Seal Of Approval” feature to the site. What is this “GFSoA” you say? Well it’s my way of telling you, the humble internet tube-surfer, those things that I deem “cool”, “hip” or otherwise worthy of your attention and/or consumer dollars. So on with it already….

Today’s GFSoA award goes to Sennheiser for their super-awesome PMX 70 headphones.pmx70472.jpg  Here’s what Sennheiser’s marketing folks have to say about these beauties:

Short Description

The rugged stereo neckband headphones fit comfortably behind the neck. The moisture-resistant construction makes these headphones the ideal sports companion.

Features

Ergonomic neckband and vertical transducer system
Powerful neodymium magnets for detailed sound
Sweat and water-resistant
Extremely rugged earphones and cable
Accessories: cable clip

If I had just one gripe about the iPod it would be that the first time I took my brand new 30GB video iPod out jogging it broke.  Boy, that sadPod icon really IS sad…I almost cried.  If I had two gripes about the iPod, gripe #2 would be that the earbud headphones don’t stay in my ears and are, for me, practically useless.  With a mounting collection of useless Apple earbud headphones I set out to find the perfect replacements.  My requirements were simple:

  1. Would be good for working out
  2. Would stay in my ears (seems like a reasonable requirement)
  3. Had a cool day-glo green headphone cord
  4. Sounded better than my current $4 behind-the-neck headphones

After a few Google searches I started to notice a pattern…Sennheiser’s new line of “Sport” headphones kept showing up.  All the reviews I read were favorable so the decision was an easy one.  The only hard part was choosing between the PMX 70 and the OMX 70, which is an over-ear design as opposed to the behind-the-neck variety.  I’ve never had a problem with the behind-the-neck headphones so I settled on the PMX 70 and placed my order. 

Now that I’ve had the headphones for a few days I can tell you that I’m utterly thrilled with my purhcase!  The sound is fantastic and they stay put during even the most rigorous workouts.  The ONLY thing (and honestly it’s hardly worth mentioning) that annoys me slightly, is the fact that the headphone cord came rolled up (see picture above).  After a few days of use the cord is still coiled and has a phone-cord spring effect thing going on.  I’m sure it will relax over time but for now it’s a mild annoyance…but that’s hardly enough to keep Sennheiser from receiving the very first GFSoA award!  Congratulations!

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3 People

playoffposter.gifThere are 3 people I don’t like today.

1.  Baron Davis. While he is arguably one of the best point guards in the NBA his cheap shot to former teammate Derek Fisher in Utah’s rout over the Dubs (what the locals like to call the Warriors) last night was completely uncalled for.  What’s worse is how this is being covered in the press today:

Fisher dropped to the floor in a heap after a scary collision with Davis with 1:37 left, but eventually got up to finish the game.

http://www.nba.com/games/20070513/UTAGSW/recap.html 

“Scary collision” my butticles!  Davis was frustrated after a 6-16 shooting night against the dominant Jazz defense and he took it out on one of the nicest guys in the NBA.   Sorry GREG BEACHAM, an elbow to the side of the head is not a scary collision…your words imply accidental or incidental contact — it most certainly was not.

And Davis, I know you’re reading this,  we didn’t pull that kind of crap during game 3 on Friday night when we watched your team drop 15 3 pointers on your way to a 20 point victory.  We held our poise, maintained our dignity and lost with good sportsmanship.  You could learn a thing or two.

2.  Jason Richardson for the flagrant foul against Mehmet Okur with 0:37 left in the game and 3.  Doug Collins for having the audacity to blame the situation on Okur – “you shouldn’t drive to the basket in a situation like this”.  In a situation like what?!  Like when playing a BASKETBALL GAME?  I’m no NBA coach or anything…but when the shot clock is winding down, you try to make a basket!  Okur drove in, Richardson went WWF on him and somehow that’s Okur’s fault?!  I guess it’s the 7-11 owner’s fault every time he gets robbed too…right Collins?

All drama and playground tomfoolery aside, the Jazz are looking good in the Playoffs.  They have yet to lose a game at home and there isn’t a team left (save the NJ Nets) that the Jazz didn’t  beat or tie during the regular season.  I officially revise my Utah Jazz Playoff Prediction to have them winning the NBA Title in 5 versus the Detroit Pistons!  Take that Jazz haters!