Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Shit sucks. I've been training for weeks for the Seal Beach 10k and as luck would have it a really good paying gig has popped up that I can't turn down. With the Rome trip coming up, well, I just had to say yes. As a result...grrrr....I won't be running the race on Saturday. I had a good feeling about this one, too. And I was going to meet up with a fellow blogging buddy and now I'll have to postpone that as well. So now Kristen and I are both bagging the race and that totally blows. Well, I'll have to roll the training over into the next race. I'm not sure what, but I was hoping to run at least one race a month. Any suggestions for the Los Angeles area for April? Also, if anyone wants to run this race for free, you can be either Mike Dunn or Kristen James and the bibs will be waiting for you. Good luck. Tell us how we do. Seriously. Who's going to know. At least the money will go to a good cause.

Okay, so what doesn't suck is that we have recently found two great wine shops in nearby areas. The Twisted Vine in Fullerton has some KILLER wine flights in a really chill, but nice setting. And if you go on nights other than Friday or Saturday you might get little extras here and there from the staff. Very cool vibe. We also discovered the Wine Styles shop in Seal Beach. They have flights and tastings throughout the week and have live music on the weekends that really help set it apart. They can be a little pricey, but that's always subjective. I had a kill kill killer Pinot Noir from New Zealand (yeah, I was surprised too) that I wanted, but they were asking $35 for it. Kristen reminded me of the plethora of vino we had at home so I put my wallet away. Something to keep an eye out for: Castle Rock 2004 Barrel Fermented Central Coast Chardonnay. Crisp, citrus, green apple, slight toast. Delish. Go for it. Also...Napa Cellars 2006 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc. Crisp, zesty with pineapple and pink grapefruit. I don't taste the grapefruit so much, but the pineapple is there. It initially tastes like it was fermented in stainless steel, but as it opens up you kind of get some toast so it's got that going for it which is nice. Gungada da gungada. That's from Caddyshack and if you don't know what I'm talking about then I can't help you out. Anyway, Kristen and I eat a lot of spicy food so these two whites are great for any spicy dish. They're also great, of course, for salads and seafood. Go forth and be merry wine snobs. And good luck.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


I meant to run 9 miles today, but I used the USATF website to plot my path and then veered a little and ended up running 9.2 instead. The longest distance I've run up to now without stopping is 7 miles. I had an 8 mile long day last week, but I had to break it up into two 4's because of a time thing. So today I plotted a course along the Long Beach bike path and took off. It was a good run. I wasn't exactly looking forward to it because, honestly, I never, ever saw myself wanting to run these distances (or more) in the past, but I genuinely enjoyed this run. I kept saying to myself, "it's a strange thing to want to run this far," but I never wanted to quit. In fact I thought, "yeah, I could run a half no problem." I wouldn't put in a great time, mind you. But I could do it. I'll run two or three this year and then go for my first marathon in 2010. I'll post my lame ass times for today's run just for shits and giggles so you all can see how slow I am. Since I don't have a Garmin, just a Timex Ironman watch, I had to keep my eye out for my mile marker checkpoints and as a result, I got a little confused during mile 5 and 6 so the times for those two miles are unknowable. I know, I know. Time to get serious and upgrade. Or maybe I'll just claim to be a purist who isn't interested in times...just the experience.

Mile 1: 9:21
Mile 2: 8:51
Mile 3: 9:16
Mile 4: 10:02
Mile 5 and 6: N/A
Mile 7: 13:19
Mile 8: 10:24
Mile 9: 11:08 (this is 1 mile plus .20)

During mile 7 I slowed down to eat 3 Clif Bar Shot Bloks and go the restroom. This was also one of those weird, anomalous times when the wind is at your back going one way and miraculously at your back going the other. Gotta love that. At first I thought my trip back was going to be hell, but I lucked out I guess. Anyway, next week is the Seal Beach 10k and I'm hoping to come in around 51 or 52 since my only other 10k time was 54 and change and 2 to 3 minutes is a lot to shave off. We'll see. I'm also looking forward to meeting one of my fellow bloggers Billy (of LA Runner fame). Anyway, gotta drink some wine now to reward myself. I hear it's good for the heart. Gulp.

On the Kristen front, her foot is doing better, but she still can't pound the pavement yet. On top of that she's studying for her next architecture exam. Not many people know this, but to become a licensed architect you have to take 9 separate exams and quite frankly, each one is like taking the BAR exam. Sort of. So think about it. To become an architect you would have to take the BAR exam 9 times. There's a passing rate of about 45%, too. Needless to say, she's going a little nuts right now. BTW, being a licensed architect really only means that people can sue you. Awesome.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Kristen update

So Kristen had an MRI done on her foot this week and it turns out there is a slight hairline fracture on the top near her middle toes. She can't run of course, but she still rides to stay in shape. But I know it's killing her not to be able to hit the road. We were watching TV the other day and a character in a show went running through some tall grass and she just let out this sad little sigh. Anyway, she won't be running in the Seal Beach 10k with me which is a bummer. However, we're going to Rome at the end of April where we intend to do a lot of walking everyday so the most important thing is for her foot to heal quickly. Keep your fingers crossed!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Home Sweet Home

I'm back from the Land of the Rising Sun. Man, it felt good to get back to the motherland. I really missed good wine and Mexican food. I can tear into California rolls and tuna rolls no problem, but I'm not a big sashimi fan and even though yakatori sounds like a good idea, they don't always (re: usually) use the best parts of a chicken. It's usually lips and assholes, ya know? Gives new meaning to the expression, "Guess what? Chicken butt."

I did an easy run both yesterday and today and got the ol' pumpers back in action. It's been sluggish, but good. I have a 6 mile tempo run tomorrow that I'm nervous about, but what the hell. Gotta get it done. My back feels great which surprises me since my last day in Japan consisted of me carrying my camera (35 pounds) around for about 16 hours straight. I popped 2 Advil and drank a beer before hitting the sack. I was terrified I was going to wake up in the middle of the night with searing back pain, but I guess I'm in better shape than I thought. I seriously need to get a chance to compete in Ninja Warrior. I just know deep down I can kick some ass. Someday. Anyway, back to training for the Seal Beach 10k.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Long drought

I just ran for the first time since last Sunday (it's Saturday morning here in Japan) on a dreadmill on the 31st floor of a hotel overlooking Tokyo. Man it feels gooood to run after so long. I just sweat out all the crap that's building in my system for the past week. I know I am officially addicted on running now since all I could talk about was how I was looking forward to running when we got to the hotel. Everybody I'm traveling with looked at me like I was crazy. Since getting here I've stayed in four hotels (with one more tomorrow) and it's been planes, trains and automobiles and shoots from morning till night and today our call time was late enough I could get in a good 5 mile tempo run. Ahhh, normally I hate tempo runs, but this was nice. Anyway, the shoots are going great and I just saw that the convenience store in the hotel sells bottles of wine with screw caps so I guess I know what I'm doing tonight!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I think I'm turning Japanese

So twice a year I travel to Japan for my network to shoot a show we call Ninja Warrior. It's basically a HUGE obstacle course (4 of them actually) that 100 people run through. Only about 5 or less make it to obstacle course #2. Anyway, it's a week of long shoot days capped off by what usually turns out to be an 18 hour Ninja Warrior day. The trip is crazy and exhausting and long, but fun nonetheless. You can walk into a small watering hole and run into a bunch of people that want to talk to you all night because you're not Japanese. For me, it's the best part of coming here. The people rock! Lots of eating and drinking. The upside is that it's sushi so it's not terribly fattening. The downside is that I'm bouncing from one hotel to the next and it looks like I'll only get one maybe two days to actually run this week. I'll need it by then for sure. It's a 12 hour flight here and then I'll be flying two more times "in country" and then take a bullet train to Tokyo all in the span of five days before the event. Not much time to myself. Knowing all this, I wasn't about to leave without hitting the pavement one last time.

I had a long run yesterday, but before I hit it, I did a lot of yard work on Saturday that strained my back and then Kristen and I built an island for the middle of our kitchen on Sunday so when I hit the strand in Long Beach afterwards my lower back was aching the entire time. I did the run on pace and it felt good, but when I woke up the next day my lower back was killing me. Not an auspicious way to start off a week of running around with a 30 pound camera on my shoulder. Anyway, I seem to be okay for now. More updates to come.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Reebok spec

Just a little spec commercial I shot for fun. My ode to treadmills.

The Kristen Report

A quick update on Kristen's foot. Last Sunday she started the Los Alamitos Race on the Base, but just over a mile she injured her right foot. X-rays didn't show any signs of a break, but that doesn't preclude a hairline fracture so she's going to get an MRI this week to get to the bottom of this thing. She continues to use the Precor or cycle (against my suggestion, but since when do husbands and wives listen to each other?!), but after a session yesterday she was really hurting. The swelling has gone down and now it looks like the injury is located on the top of the foot right at the middle two toes. She's optimistic, but hates not being able to run. She's signed up for the Seal Beach 10k (I signed us up before she injured her foot) and hopes to be recovered by race day, April 4th. Unfortunately she had to bail on the Toyota Desert Triathlon that is happening this upcoming Sunday. She's really bummed, but what can you do? We're keeping our fingers crossed.