Saturday, December 31, 2011

Best Trip - China

By far the best trip of 2011 was the family trip to China. You know it leaves an impression when our 13 year olds says "I want to go back". Some tips if you are planning to go: 

1. Skip the Tourist version of the Great Wall and head out to the sections that are still in original form. We found a guide in the back of a hotel magazine and spent 5 hours on the wall without seeing another person. Simply the best day of 2011. 
2. Travel Overnight by Train. - The entire experience from the train stations to the actual ride was well worth it. 
3. Visit cities other than the big ones. I'm lucky enough to have visited a huge swatch of the country and all though the big cities are fun, there is lot's of adventure throughout the country. 
4. Eat from one of the local street stalls. As Mary says, if it's hot it won't kill you. The point is it's cheap and tasty. Remember I said local and not tourist. Avoid the tourist stalls. As always overpriced and bland or just plain stupid - Snake on a stick for example. 
5. Go to China - Well first get to know your own country first, but after that go to China. You have grown up with a view of China in your head. A trip there will alter that view forever. And I mean in a really positive way. 

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Surprise Trip of 2011

There is no doubt the highlight surprise trip of the year was Annecy, France. My fault for not doing much research but it was a welcome surprise. Coming directly off the the disaster that was Ironman St George, we rolled into old world beauty. A lake buffeted by the Alps. A quaint French town with outdoor cafe's for sunning. I skipped the provided hotel lunch every day and walked into the city square for a fresh sandwich. Once you've experienced on of these you will never eat at Subway again. And then there were the morning runs. I could barely keep up with the boys. My legs were dead. But at the same time I couldn't miss the opportunity to run along the lake and to have the company of the international crew. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Hamburg Germany the year in pictures

One of the many trips this year was to Hamburg Germany to witness the WCS Hamburg Triathlon. A fun city made more exciting by hard racing and estimated 300,000 spectators. Most triathlons in the US occur in some far off local away from the big city. City permits and traffic control make it very difficult to execute. In Europe it's quite different. The cities welcome the events and for this one in particular the city of Hamburg is shut down. Streets are cleared and racing happens. The Transition for this race is literally the city square. If you want to experience triathlon in a different way, try Hamburg. You get to race and enjoy a classic European city. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Favorite Email Button

I've had many conversations about email recently. I try very carefully to leave my inbox empty at the end of a "work" day. It doesn't always work especially when I travel but it's a regular thing when I'm at the home office. So how do I do it. 

1. Answer the email. 
2. File it under - senders name, temporary or hot topic. 
3. Use my favorite button of all time Delete

My feeling is that the favorite button for most in the work world is CC. The American mentality is to save every email ever received and CC everyone. In other words Cover My Ass. This system does only one thing, clog up your email. Next time you think CC think don't. Next time you think "I should file this and you don't know where it should go, hit delete." You will learn to love my favorite button. 

And if you happen to Delete a really, really important email I can almost guarantee it will either come back to you in a CC or you can simply ask the person you are working with, they saved it to cover their ass. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Who are you?

The way you answer that question tells quite a bunch about you. If you asked me that right now I would define myself by what I do for a living. I sure don't want that to define me in the future. Sure I love what I do but I'm not sure "I'm the shoe guy" or "Oh yeah, he was that shoe guy" is the way I want to be defined.

Below, Christmas Eve at the beach. Brought to you by the remarkable beauty that is the California Coast and by the unquestioned enthusiasm of being a 13 year old kid.

Friday, December 23, 2011

East Side

Last week the day after my arrival from China we hopped in the car and drove to Reno, NV. We went there to visit with Michelle and her family. Michelle and Mary go back more than 20 years. Her son Nolan and Marco have grown up together. Not physically of course but they have spent so much time together that the time apart does not seem like anything as soon as they are together. 

We drove up through the most fertile farm land in the world in Central California. On the way back we drove down US Highway 395 along the East side of the Sierras. If you ever get a chance make that drive. It is one of the more beautiful drives I've ever done.  Around every corner in the road it's a postcard picture. From high country desert, to the tallest peak in the continental USA. It's just stunning. 

 The East Side

 The San Gabriel Mountains in the distance
 Sunset over the desert. Taken while driving. More pole than Sunset. 

 Not another car ride!
 Don't take my picture. 
It's a long drive and much better when there are two to share the load. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Back Home

Sunset Over Guangzhou, China

26 hours of flight
10 hours of driving
7 hours on a train

- a Starbucks at the Hotel. 
- Metro Station at the Hotel
- being part of the work day in a major Asian city. 
- Working with people who share your passion for running shoes
-Norman, Mike, Thomson, Henry, George, Charles, Kelly - One day I'll try to write their Chinese name. 
- Coming home to Cardiff by the Sea
-Home with Mary, Marco and Scout

The highlights of my week.  

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ready to Fly

They are lined up and ready to fly. One of them is taking me to Hong Kong.

Reinvention the art of learning from what you know and not always chasing

I think there is a time in everyone's life where we chase. Chase a better life, chase a better body, chase a better job...... Maybe it's just me but I doubt it.

The point is that sometimes you already know what's best and chasing becomes futile. Take for instance the sport I play in. I think for 4-5 years I've been chasing. Reading what others are doing and thinking that maybe that's best for me. Hiring a coach and executing the workouts without putting experience into it to me, is a form of chasing. The coach obviously knows right....Well the last 4 weeks I put in a block of work that wasn't chasing. It was simply doing what I've known all along.
1. Work on my weakness - In order Swimming, Cycling and Strength.
2. Run consistently at a pace that doesn't kill me. Actually a pace where when I'm done, I feel like I could go another 30 minutes.
3. Back off chasing on the web.

The results
1. I swam a 400 IM last week. Comfortably.
2. I am stronger today than I was in May of last year.
3. I like riding my bike.
4. My 20 minute test run came down 1 minute per mile. That's significant.

Then today I read this from Tim Ferris. Essentially this is what Tim writes about this week.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It's the shoes

Yesterday I saw an athlete wearing the above shoes. I knew that she was dealing with some foot injuries so I asked "How are those shoes working for you?" She said they were working great and that she had no foot pain running in them. Later on I dug some more. 

1. What brought her to Hoka - A friend suggested them. 
2. What does she like about them - Well they are really soft and I know that's not supposed to be good but I like them. 
3. How about the feel when you are running - "Well normally I like the low profile lightweight shoes where I can feel the ground but with my foot pain these seem to work better" 
4. You can't feel the ground in those can you - "No I can't" 

Finally she said "I'm going to keep using them until my foot gets better". 

Here's are my points in all of this: 
1. She didn't mention once that she really appreciated the Zero Drop midsole. Guess what, she had no idea that these are Zero Drop. Why does that matter? The entire talk about Drop is wrong. That's another hot topic for later. 
2. She generally likes the Low Profile lightweight shoes. Her comment after that "I always get injured". And then after that "These shoes feel better". If that isn't a statement of too much of one thing will hurt you, than what is? 
3. This girl is a professional athlete. It's how she pays the bills. She has access to anything and everything and yet she clearly doesn't know what works for her feet and what doesn't. This is exactly why there will never be one shoe, one theory or one magic pill that will solve the #1 problem with running. The only way to solve injuries in running is to be consistent in your running and don't do stupid things that will hurt you. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Today could very well be the best day of your life so prepare for the best. - Unkown