Sunday, December 9, 2007

I Picked the Wrong Day to...

So here it is, a week after I decided to start training for a half-marathon and so far I've only done two workouts--one kilometer each. Not a good start.

I was also looking over my past entries  and it seems like it was always work that got in the way. Well, it is like that once again. I was hoping that working in Jerusalem would be much more laid back than in a Hollywood studio. You'd also think that working in animation is something that you really take your time doing. However, we did the first story reel screening in four weeks, that's very quick, and then they replaced the director and we are doing a complete redo in just two months. I would have never thought it possible, but here I am doing it. Needless to say, it is taking up all of my time and there is just no way that I've got the energy to train right now.

Guess I picked the wrong day to start training. I'll get back to it after the screening.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Time Shifted Workout

We're recording dialogue in Los Angeles this week so that means that I'm having to work at night here in Jerusalem. I got up at 11:00am local time and did a short workout. Yesterday was a crazy day on the job, working from 9:00am until 5:00am the next morning. Needless to say I didn't have the time or energy for exercise.

I did the same lap as a couple of days ago and timed myself around the loop - 6:45. It starts with a quick downhill followed by a long gentle uphill for half the loop and finally a shallow decline that gradually gets steeper at the end. My heart rate averaged around 165 and at one point in the uphill got as high as 185 so I backed off. It seems that I got my heart rate up too fast too soon and the run was too short to do much good for half-marathon training. Still, I got out there and that's an accomplishment considering that I'm starting this training on a work crunch time.

Total distance of the loop? Measured by car odometer it is: 1.1 kilometer. So, let's see, that would be 6:08 minutes per kilometer or about 9:52 minutes per mile. Not a very fast run, but faster than my average racewalking pace--and with hills. Now I've got to keep running at this pace for 2:09:24 in order to cover a half-marathon. Considering that I walked it at 2:30:56, that should be doable.

Finally, here is a shot of the guys in Los Angeles, Gavin Goodvach (sound editor) in the foreground and Doug Wood (director) in the background. That's me in the picture in picture on the Skype screen. The picture was taken around 2:30am Jerusalem time.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Lightning and Thunder and Rain... and Running

I decided that this morning I would start training for the Jerusalem half-marathon. I laid out all my gear, except for the Polar watch that I sent back to the states with Rosie because it wasn't reading the heart rate monitor. I woke up before the alarm went off because of the lightning and thunder. Humm--can't let that stop me, so I got suited up. Then the rain started--can't let that stop me either, put on a waterproof wind breaker.

The route I took was a short loop by the Jerusalem Theater and the president's residence. I started the stopwatch shortly after leaving the apartment and the total workout was about 10 minutes. I used my simple Polar B1 heart rate monitor and it looks like I went from 140 bpm to 165 bpm. Not much of a workout, but I did manage to get started--and I ran it all the way!

Now why would I start running if I hurt myself several times in the past? Well, after reading the books on Chi Running and the Pose Method I found out that it was my technique that was hurting me. Of course 10 minutes of running won't hurt me, but how about over two hours on a half-marathon? Stay tuned.

Finally--it will be interesting blogging from the other side of the globe. Note that the time posted is in West Hollywood, 10 hours later than Jerusalem time.

The Journey Continues

It has been almost six months since my last post but I haven't forgotten that I've got this blog. Like I mentioned in my last post, I'm working in Jerusalem on an animated feature film. There have been ups and downs on this job but overall I'm quite happy that I made the decision to take it. My wife Rosie came with me for a couple of months when I started and she returned recently for another month long visit. Next month, in January, I'll be making my first trip home since I started. It will be just a quick two-week visit mostly for some personal appointments then it will be back to Israel for another stretch until Rosie comes to visit me in the Spring.

So, what's the purpose of this post? Just to get back into it I guess. My servers are running in the garage back home in West Hollywood and I'm on the other side of the globe trying to manage. It hasn't been easy, the "High-Availability" pair of servers went down and I had to switch over to the workstation that I use to experiment around with various open source programs. When the last of the "High-Availability" servers died it wasn't too hard to switch over, though I do owe debt of gratitude to my friend Tim Serda for helping out with the technical glitches over these last several months. Fortunately, I'm using the current system to back up all my other computers so there wasn't much lost data during the switch--even my blog ended up intact!

Now that things are settling down at work and I don't have all the day-to-day distractions that I had at home, it is time to start doing some of the things I always wanted to do. I'd like to learn how to play the guitar, but my instruments are at home, darn. I'd also like to take some more photos, draw and write. Of course I'd also like to do a little bit of computer software programming too. So what's first? How about another race--yippee!

Will I be racewalking or running? I'm not sure yet, but whatever I do, I'd better start training soon, it has been too long since I've trained for a race.