Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Bucket list races

This is the bucket list of races that I've built up so far.



  • Bay to Breakers-Running with not just California crazies but the creme of the crop from SF. 
  • Mt Hood to Coast-a downhill course. Party on the coast, totally the way to go. 
  • Reno Tahoe Relay-Amazing views. Couple it with a vacation. 
  • New York Marathon - Marathon Major
  • Big Sur Marathon-The race is supposed to be hilly but the views are supposed to be amazing. 
  • Escape from Alcatraz-this is a tri that's pretty unique. You start off in the Bay and do a swim-run bike run
  • London Marathon Marathon Major
  • Tokyo Marathon- Marathon Major. Couple it with a vacation. 
  • Bolder Boulder-Heard great things from a friend that worked at the race
  • Pune Marathon-Just to say I ran a marathon in India. Would be afraid of being run over or drinking in water, or stepping in cow shit. 
  • Athens Marathon-The Original. Enuf said. 
  • Steamboat Classic 15k-Hilly and typically humid race in Peoria, IL. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Lab building

I finally got my lab built out to a functional level with:

  • an iSCSI LUN providing storage on a Synology NAS
  • an ESXi host running on an old desktop providing compute 
  • CentOS guest running splunk
  • Log data sources going to splunk
    • openWRT router including Snort
    • ESXi logs
    • Synology NAS

Stay tuned for a more detailed blog post and another including future plans for it. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Outdoor climbing at Devil's Lake

It's been a busy month with tri training, switching jobs, and getting more into rock climbing but we dipped our toe into getting ready for outdoor climbing this weekend at Devil's Lake (Baraboo, WI). This place was about 2-3 hours outside the NW Chicago Suburbs and camped at a private lot near the state park.It was also my first time camping, though this was more like car camping. At night, we played Exploding Kittens and the NSFW deck for that game for the first time. I think that game would have been more fun with more light because part of the fun of the game is the artwork and what's written on the cards.
It was stupid hot but it did cool down at night and during the class when it decided to sprinkle for 10 minutes. A few friends and I took a class on building anchors. We learned the basics to set anchors and tie knots. I've got names of knots and hitches like European Death Knot (EDK), Double Overhand, Speed-Bowline Knot, and my favorite the Alpine Butterfly floating around in my head. Since we had some extra time, the instructor set an anchor at the top of the rock and let us climb.  It's really different climbing outdoors versus climbing indoors (duh!). Most notably, no smearing on the rock. The other is noticeable when it's hot; chalk really doesn't help with the sweat.  The rock is really smooth too. It's strange not having to look for colored holds to move up, you just have to find holds you think you can get to move up.

Before leaving, we did find a really cool diner out there called the Broadway Diner. It's worth checking out. For the carnivores out there, my friends said the hash was really good.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

ragnar race report

A few weeks ago I ran Ragnar from Madison to Chicago. This wasn't my first time doing a relay race but it was my first one at this kinda distance.

A little background
Ragnar puts together relay races all over the country in the 200 mile range. You go from exchange point to exchange point in a van and drop off your runner. We had 12 runners and 2 vans. The course was pretty well marked.

I ran with a team where I knew only half of the people, in the other van. I took leg 1, and had a 12:30 start time. My leg had something like 15.5 total miles. I turned too early. I only added .6 of a mile but no big deal. Running at night in a forest preserve was really cool. That was my leg with the fast pace.Once I finished my last leg, I was open to eat and drink whatever I wanted. I savored a Snickers ice cream bar that I bought at a gas station. I think if I could have slept better, I would have run my last leg faster.

Would I do it again?
Hell yes!
By the end of it, we were pretty grumpy by being sleep deprived and surviving on essentially junk food. We all swore that we wouldn't do it again and would write to the race directors to tell them that they fucked up. After getting some good sleep, I was in a better mood about it.

Things I'd wished the race organizers had done differently
  • More water/aid stations
  • Numbering based on start wave, so we could tell if we were beating out people from earlier waves. River to River does this so we use that to help understand how we're doing relative to everyone else. 
  • The post race meal sucked. The pasta while good, had no protein and was a snack sized portion. 
  • The vendors/partners were taking down their booths during the van exchanges areas even while teams were going through. There shoulda been food to buy or something. 


Lessons learned
  • Plan who is bringing what for each van
  • bring more pictures
  • bring music
  • bring eye shades, and a light blanket, and foamies to make it easier to sleep
  • More ice
  • Line up volunteers earlier otherwise you have to pay $120 / volunteer



Saturday, April 11, 2015

New climbing gadget

Just got my hands on this guy. I belayed with it for the first time with it and it's really easy to use. The mechanics are really similar to a standard ATC. Can't wait to try it out while learning sport lead.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Focus shift towards my training

In a shift of focus away from gadgets and tech, I'm going to be posting more about my tri training, rock climbing, and my other more active interests. This will include the tech such as the Garmin GPS watch and other gadgetry but the focus is shifting for at least the next several months. I hope to post more about my routine and my training.  Hopefully this means more frequent posting. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015