Skype, how I love thee....

I haven't posted anything forever. Dave doesn't fail to kindly remind me of that frequently! He is just so much better at it.

Bangkok is wonderful. I have felt lost, excited, homesick, happy, sad, aware, amazed and love very intensely over the last 12 days I have been here. It is great for a person to be dropped into a world where nobody speaks their language and nothing is familiar. It makes me feel grateful for all that I have but at the same time amazed at how much life in the world I have been missing.

Skype has become a great connection to Dave and the pups. I grabbed some of our conversation this morning....makes me teary. I really miss them. I have gotten used to having a partner in crime so it's tough to not have him with me (I'm talking about Dave, not Benton).

The UN project is really exciting. They are trying to start a social networking campaign in Asia to bring awareness to young men about violence against women. So far I feel like I really can use my skills to help them move this project forward in the next couple of months. Amazing when you find that you can use your skills to help promote change!

I'll get some pictures up of my Bangkok discoveries...soon!


This is a Test...

Watch the first 15 seconds of this video. If you can't stop there and have watch it to the end, it's time to get out for a run...a hike...something. Just get out.

UltraRunning from Matt Hart on Vimeo.

If you are like me and watched the video multiple times, there is no cure. The best thing to do is get out there and feed it. Proceed to the nearest trail. Run. Repeat.


Up and Down and All Around...

I had the day off of work, so I treated myself to a drive up into Angeles National Forest for a nice long run on the trails. It was foggy and overcast in the "lowlands", but once I got up above sea level to some good elevation everything was clear and sunny. Thankfully even though it was hot, the sun did not destroy me. I ran another portion of the 50k course that I plan to do in a couple of months as well as some other beautiful trails. Strangely the last few miles of rocky incline back to the car (3300 to 4640 feet) were some of my favorite of the whole run.

About 12 miles into the run there was a little added excitement with a rattlesnake stretched across the trail. There was no way around as the trail was carved out of the side of the mountain. There was no turning around since I was on the return trip already. A few well placed rock tosses and a few minutes later I was back on my way. No snakes were harmed during the course of this chance meeting.

Natures sun block. Dirt and grime.

Back home now I hear live music off in the distance. It's coming from somewhere towards the ocean. Rather than go and check it out I decided to order Thai food (yes I see the irony in that) and watch Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

Nicole is doing well in Thailand and this Sunday moves into her new place where she will remain for the rest of the fellowship. It looks awesome and is in a good part of the city.

That's all for now...


"I'll be back..."

I saw the new Terminator movie last night. Action packed. To some degree you know what you are getting into when you see a movie like this. To that end, I must say it was very entertaining. The other thing of note, at least in the theatre where I saw it, is that it was LOUD! Between the gunfire, explosions, and intense soundtrack the bass shook the seats. Anywho there is not a whole lot more to say except that it was fun.

Nicole is continuing to explore her surroundings in Bangkok and soon we'll probably have a couple pictures to share. For now enjoy this Skype screen capture with me in the corner and her showing me the view out her apartment window.

Today I went for a great 2.5 hour run in Angeles National Forest. It was almost all single track and there was some killer elevation. Great workout. It was pretty hot out, but not as bad as I expected for being mid-day. I think I'll make a serious effort to get up there once a week for a solid run. The next 50k I want to run covers the trails I ran today and it would be fun to explore the rest of the course.


the World Wide Web...

Thailand update. Nicole landed safely and is two days into work. Everyone is friendly and helpful. The food is amazing and cheap. The apartment she is staying in is clean and has a gym, oh and wireless internet. We have been able to keep in touch via Skype and Google Chat. Not much else to say there except I miss her and she misses the dogs...and probably me too.

I bought my tickets to go visit her in about 5 weeks. Until then, it's just me, the dogs, and lots of running. I think I found the next race I'll run. It's another 50k taking place in about two and a half months up in Angeles National Forest. It's a good excuse to explore more trails up there...


Travel Time...

In about 11 hours I take Nicole to the airport. From there she flies to Taiwan and then finally lands in Bangkok some 20 hours after departing Los Angeles. That is a serious day of travel. Add to that the fact that Thailand is 14 hours ahead of Pacific time... That will throw your body for a twist!

Last night we had some delicious Greek food down on 3rd Street and then checked out the new Star Trek movie. Neither of us are well versed in the Trekkie ways, but still found the movie enjoyable. It wasn't an awesome, best ever kind of thing - but should do a fine job of re-branding the franchise to a new time and generation.

So anyway, the rest of the day at the Chan household consists of making lists and checking them twice to make sure that everything is in place for the next 3 months. Soon we will be logging serious time on Skype... That is all for now.


Miles and miles...

Time for a status report on the Trail to 1000. I've run about 100 miles since officially taking on this goal. As predicted I am slightly behind schedule as I continue to build back my weekly mileage after last months 50k run. The good news is that I feel strong and continue to put in a few extra miles every week. Soon I should be back to what I was running pre-race, and then some. It's all about building that training base!

Speaking of training base, it's just over a year now since I ran my first road marathon. Since then I have openly fallen in love with trail running and ran a 30k trail run, and a 50k trail run. I'll stick with the 50k distance for now and plan to complete one or two more by the end of the year. The next "logical" step after that is a 50 miler. That will likely be next years goal.

So enough delay, here are the stats as of yesterday:

129 days down
236 days to go
324.4 miles run
675.6 miles to go
2.51 miles a day averaged
2.74 miles a day needed

Lastly, since this has been a running post, I know everyone is dying for a gear report about my Nine Trails shorts. Crickets... Well I'm going to talk about them anyway. The original post explaining the situation is here. The short review...about the...shorts. They are great. The stitching has changed a little bit from the last model and it is an improvement more so with quality than function. I think the liner material is a little different as well, but very comfortable. The pockets are still roomy enough that I can get my whole hand in them, though all I tend to carry is an iPod shuffle and a handheld for short runs. If the run is more than 6-8 miles, I have my hydration pack with pockets for other consumables.

Do you run? If so do you carry anything or have any favorite "gear" (be it sneakers, socks, shorts, hydration device - whatever)?


The Final Countdown...

Remember that song? Sure you do. The title is an accurate description of the Chan household as Nicole prepares for her international adventure. Wejust got back from picking up some electronics necessities such as a portable external hard drive to keep up with backups of her laptop. First we went to Souplantation for AYCE (all you can eat) soup and salad! Yum.

Okay go back in time a few days...are you there? Nicole and I recently celebrated her birthday. Her first one since we have lived out in sunny CA. We spent the day at the dog beach with Benton, then went out for sushi off Third Street, and to see the new X-Men movie. Fun, delicious, and entertaining in that order.

The beach...one wet dog.

The seemingly empty sushi restaurant...oh so good.

The action movie...very well done.

That's all for now.