Monday, February 24, 2014


Nothing better than a magnificent sunrise on Maui Northsore to reboot a year.

Sunday Sunrise
Came back from Santa Monica with back pain, psoas pain and couple of more pounds. The back pain is string enough to decide me to rest for a couple of days. At this point, I reckon the typical patterns of a moved rib and contracted back (or trapezius).
To the point, I begin to wonder if all my problems do not have one unique source : My posture at work and the usage of the mouse.

After a quick visit to my favorite chiropractor, the ribs are back in place, and now I am back to strecht my back. I took a trackball instead of a mouse for now. And I am locking my trapezius with a yoga belt.

Lot of fun.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Back Home

And paradoxically, back to work.

The yard went wild during my 4 weeks absence ...

Back from Santa Monica and this -eye opening - full month ramp-up at Riot, it is time to reassess the incoming year. On purpose, I tucked in those last couple of month. January was denewb at Riot and the Maui Ocean Front Marathon. February was all about hard work and California time.

Not sure yet what is coming for next year, but this week-end .. I will be mowing the lawn.
And yet, I am very glad to be home !

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Elliptigo - Personal Perspective

This Elliptigo is an interesting beast.
It looks like a bike, and most of the gear could belong to a normal bike.
you ride it like a bike ... without the seat.
It is heavy. it is long, even with those tiny wheels.
And it is very expensive.

The beast. And yes, it is green power.

Exercising is very close from any Elliptical trainer in any gym room.
The big - huge - difference, is that you are riding outside, and it feels like a cool bike ride, for pleasure.
But the training itself is hard. Midway between running and biking, I found myself capable of doing 3 hours,
(which is more than I am capable to bike, mostly because it hurts my butt), burning 1600 calories (more than twice than biking, but less than running), and overall feeling tired after the effort, but not as exhausted than running. Feel like a more complete work-out, and obviously, less hard on the overall body.
No percussion, no back pain, etc...

Riding uphill seemed challenging and I am not sure I would be able to ride Maui's volcano, even with the 11th gear version. Going up seemed to require a lot of energy. But this is true for biking as well.
I do no like biking. Then I can see the huge advantage of this thing for cross-training, or when injured, if you cannot run. If that was not that expensive, I would certainly give it a shot at home.
I like the idea of covering twice the distance as in running, seeing more stuff (but you have to stay on the road) and to cover a workout less damaging and more complete.

Most of the rider would say that this is the closest thing you could from running without actually running. I would agree. However, there is a big step. I am not sure why, maybe it is related to actual threshold of effort you have to provide that is lower,
but I did not get the same "high" or spirit or transcendence than in running. Running give me this intangible benefit or feeling that push me to run more and to come back to it.
I did not get that on the elliptigo. (As I do not get it on my bike as well). Don't get me wrong, this is fun and useful. 

But it did not bring me what I am running for - what ever that is !
Maybe we are born to run. But not to bike, or not to ellipti-go.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Running Palisades

I was a little sore after my 3 hours long ride on the Elliptigo yesterday, but I decided to go a for a short long run this morning, in a close neighborhood, Palisades.
Nice little town inside the town, super exclusive but calm and easy to run around.

Penalty !
They Play soccer on football fields. Does not make any sense ;)

The girl's all time favorite.

In Palisades, the organic food comes to your local market.

Nice view of the mountain side of West Sunset Boulevard.

Girl's second favorite picks. We can ride horses in the state parks !

Amazon Fresh ? Come on !

Inside the "Canyon", North of Santa Monica
Very exclusives homes with modern architecture.
Bring us several dozen of millions of dollars.

Back to beach for stretching. This guy (black panties) was amazing.
And showing off .. A lot ! Here he was pushing up and down.

Has been a while I did not run 12 miles. Went pretty well, overall, I could even afford a sprint at 7min/mile for the last couple of them. I can say that I am fully recovered from the marathon at this point.

Run Forest, Run !

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Elliptigo .. GO !

This morning I finally managed to put my hand on this monstrosity, improbable cross product of the overzealous fitness addicts of California and Outdoor extremist.
I present the .. Elliptigo.

Manhattan Beach. Barbecues cemetery.

More about the workout itself tomorrow, today it was a nice ride all down the coast, down to Hermosa Beach, 15 Miles south of Santa Monica.

Pacific Coast Trail. 15 busy miles.

That is a lot of surfers for 2 footers !!!

Your typical power plant at the beach. Remember Sano ?

They like Beach Volley

Told you

Hermosa Beach Street

Riding the Elliptigo, you are the point of attraction. It is still a novelty. Even in Santa Monica, where the freaks and freakers tend to conglomerate on the beach path.

Surf & Ball

Another boat cemetery, in front of another Power Plant

But that's ok, they painted whales. Now, it is pretty.

It is a 3 day week-end. My only conclusion is : There is way too many people living on L.A. and coming to the beach on long week-ends.
Let's rephrase it.
There is Way too many people living down there.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Eat and Run

Has been a while I did not share my actual reading, and maybe I do not read enough anymore. Being isolated in Santa Monica, in the middle of the effervescent humongous city, I can advise you to have a look to this one:

Another vegetarian "Ultraman"
Not really well written, but there is still a fair amount of good stories. My biggest complain so far, he doesn't dig deep enough into the meditative or enlighten aspect of his running experience. There are bits and spices here and there, but maybe he is planning another more 'profound' book - this one is mostly straight autobiographic - or maybe he was afraid to scare the hell of his readers.

Eat and Run could summarize my life here outside of work. I found it very hard to eat properly outside of our home, without habits. To compensate, I am running almost every day.
Even picking my lucnh from Whole Foods, which supposedly should be quality, I still struggle to maintain my weight - and I ran 40 miles this week - more than my weekly totals at the top of my marathon training !

A typical day-lunch box. Wrap, Salad and Muffin

Only one conclusion: Servings are too big and prepared food sucks. (And I stopped counting calories).

As I do not do cross-training (don't like Biking, cannot swim here easily, Surf sucks as well and I do not have a car and I am too lazy to rent one), running is pretty hard on my body right now.
But, to be fair,  40 miles a week is quite a lot for any enthusiast runner.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Take me down to the Paradise City


Where Fitness thrives at each street corner

Where All stores are organics

Where stones are round ....

Where all Girls wear designer clothes

Where all kids wear designers clothes

Where everyone rides eBikes

Where everything is Organic (Chorus)

Where everything rhymes with Mindfulness

Where the Starbucks have wooden doors

Where Pottery is Yoga

Where Surf Shops flourishes

Where even benches are cool

And Laundromat have ATM inside

Where there is more Yoga centers than houses

Where everyone can become an Athlete

And Where the Walls are as cools as the benches...

Alright, you might have guessed, I went to do my laundry this morning, on Main Street.
*** Welcome to Santa Monica ! ***

I don't know why, but I cannot wait to go back on Maui !

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Biking the Marina Del Rey

This morning, I wanted to reconnect with my past sailor life and go see some boats. The biggest cemetery around - sorry - marina - only lies a few miles from my hotel, I jumped on a rented bike and here you go.

Waterways of Marina Del eay

I love those french built boats ;)

There is few House boats here and there, but it is not San Francisco

There is a dozen of those marinas all around the area

They have a little beach, in the middle if the city
and of the marina. Water have to be dirty though.

I like the contrast of condominiums and cheap boats.
California is the country of paradox.

You can paddle the waterways

Brand new Jeanneau.
Slick and Sick cockpit.

Hard to tell the size of this racing boat on the picture.
In reality, it was huge for a monohull.

this one did not reach the marina on time

Manhattan beach.
As everything in California .. Huge (and empty)
As a conclusion, I stick to my point of view.
If you do not live on your boat, do not own a boat.
A boat is there to be sailed ;)