Monthly Archives: May 2013

New Running Shoes

I kind of jumped on the minimalist bandwagon with my most recent pair of running shoes. I didn’t go with the Vibrams, just couldn’t bring myself to either wear no socks or buy “toe” socks. I bought the Brooks Pure Cadence 2 which have a considerably different look and feel to my usual Brooks Adrenaline. They feature a split toe and minimal support as well as the bold blue color. Another major difference is the the way the tongue, or lack of it, is designed. The tongue is really just a continuation of 1 of the side panels up and over the top of the foot going under the othe side panel. It is a bit hard to explain and I can’t find a good image of it. I tried the Pure Connect 2 but they were far too tight. The Pure Cadence is tighter than I usually wear my shoes as there is an elastic band going across the top of the foot. I was intending to write that I didn’t notice much difference but then I went out on Sunday in the Adrenaline since I intended to run the half marathon in these shoes in 2 weeks. I still like the Adrenaline but they definitely felt different. I think the most noticeable difference is the width of the heel, not bad mind you but still felt different. After running 9 miles in the Adrenaline, I don’t have a preference for either style of shoe. I didn’t have some miraculous improvement in feeling or speed or soreness in the more minimalist shoes. I’ll have to see how I feel after running a few hundred miles in them to decide if I’ll buy them again.

2013-05-16 18.47.44

No making fun of the pasty white legs

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The world runs on software, thankfully for me and my career

I manage a team of software engineers and before that I was one of those software engineers. Typically the size of a program is measured in Lines of Code (LOC). Windows 7 is estimated to in excess of 50 million lines of code. This is likely one of the bigger programs but what most people don’t realize is there are microprocessors and software everywhere. Ignoring the common things like your computer and smartphone/tablets, there is a microprocessor in many common things like modern appliances. An automobile can have 20-30 modules all with microprocessors and software from the radio to the engine controller. There are many unseen modules busily doing their jobs without most of our knowledge or concern.

For those in the embedded software industry, I believe the conventional wisdom is that things like fighter jets or passengers jets have more lines of code than an automobile. Everyone of us in the automotive industry thought this to be true.  The example given to us by a supplier was to compare military jets with passengers jets with Mercedes S-Class (arguably one of the more expensive cars with the most electronics).

The data below  is from paul.kedrosky.com:

Air Force F-22 Raptor: 1.7 million
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: 5.7 million
Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner: 6.5 million
Typical Mercedes/BMW/etc: ~100 million

Not only does this go against the conventional wisdom but its not even close enough to say that is in the margin for error. This probably only makes sense to somebody in the industry but it is an interesting bit of trivia. I’ve heard that subtracting the infotainment system from the high end vehicle it is closer to 80 million which is still more than 12 times the lines of code. The development cycle and level of complexity of automobiles is increasing at a far faster rate than the aerospace industry. I guess this makes sense since new car models come out every year while new fighter jets might only be developed every 10-20 years with similar timelines for the passenger jet industry. One of the other reasons might be that there are many more car companies than there are airline manufacturers especially military grade suppliers.

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First Ride of the year

I’ve been focused on my running due to the half marathon coming up. Today I went out on the bike for the first time of the year since the knee has been hurting a little and I think I need muscle strength as the overall solution to the problem. Since we have many hills in the area it is good training for the quads. I’m still feeling out the bike since I only had a few rides last year with marathon training. I still need to figure out why at least once every ride the chain comes off when shifting to low gears for a hill climb. I think I need to figure out the proper adjustments for the shifters. Overall the ride felt good and the new GPS watch, FR210, did a good job but it is annoying to have to go through all the setup screens to get into speed display instead of pace display.

Went to the bike store after the ride to day to look at new tires in case I want to do some road training since I bought a mountain bike for the dirt roads around my house. Also I picked up a fork mounting block to start the process of putting the bike in the car. I didn’t want to buy a rack for the back of the car since I’m not sure how often I ‘ll take the bike on the road. If its in the car, I won’t have to worry about locking up the bike since it will be only in the car. I found this during my search and I plan to give this a try, hence the mounting block. I’ll had some shots of my cheap bike in the car when I get it done.

Categories: Biking, Running | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Two-a-day and new watch

Since it was back to near freezing temperatures, I wasn’t sure how the knee would feel and I still wanted to get a last long run before my half marathon, I decided to split the runs in early morning and evening run. The morning run went well enough at 10k with only a couple of twinges in the knee. Can’t say what the pace was since the watch somewhere after the halfway mark (at least I know the distance is correct this way). 

I’ve been using the Garmin Forerunner 205 for 2 1/2 years with no complaints. I thought the watch would be uncomfortable due to its size especially since I hate wearing watches in general. Even with the size it wasn’t uncomfortable and I loved the data. It has been displaying the battery low message after 45-60mins for about a year but would continue to work till the end of each run including my full marathon at almost 6 hours (cramps for the last 10 miles). I pulled the watch off the charger about 10 minutes before the run started and it was dead in less than 45 minutes. I’ve been planning on replacing the watch for awhile now since I knew it was a matter of time before this happened. I was doing research earlier this week and then after my shower I found this review and that sold me on this the FR210 model that I had been leaning towards. I like the smaller size and the price point is better than the FR610. I’m sure I don’t need the extra features but it is hard to resist new tech. More to come after I use the watch some more.

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I ran my evening run after a little too much food (it was mother’s day after all). I ended up going out for only 4 miles since the knee was a little sore and I felt very slow. The plan is to rest the knee (maybe some bike riding if the temperature warms up this week) for the majority of the time till the race on June 2.

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First run over 10 miles of the season

In preparation for my half-marathon, I ran 11-miles a couple of weeks ago. Overall was pleased with the results, not my best time but it felt good until the last couple of miles. I felt some pain in the left knee, the knee I had multiple surgeries on. The pain is in a new location and I’m still trying to figure out the cause since it wasn’t with every step. I’m a little concerned since the race is in 3 weeks. I plan to take the week off and do a long run on Sunday and see how it feels. Hopefully all will be well, otherwise its off tot he doctor right after the race to get it looked at again. In the meantime, been doing some simple strengthening and stretching.

Goal is still to complete the half in under 2 hours. Based on the 11 mile pace it will be close and minimizing the training with the pain won’t help but I always run a little faster at a race than I do in training.

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