MonthMarch 2005

10: easier than 9

So… I just ran 10 miles. Another week, another first. The thing was, 10 was much easier than 9 last week. It must have been the shock last week that made it so hard to finish. The pace was slow again, as I plan to keep it: 10 miles, 100 minutes. The first few miles I watched the US lose a world cup qualifying match to Mexico, played in Mexico city. It was strangely exhilirating. I felt kind of like I was running along with them. Now as everyone knows I’m not the biggest fan of sports, but I found myself, totally alone in the room, muttering at the players on the screen. “Get that ball out of there!” “No! No! No!” “That’s right, that’s the way we do it.” All of this kind of stuff. Pretty crazy. The game ended about 3.5 miles into the run, and I didn’t feel myself tiring at all. I took this as a good sign, and found Rounders on another channel. It had just started, so I figured I was set. At 5 miles I ate a cereal bar (I hadn’t thought to bring something to eat last week). At 6.67 I ate an energy bar, and started to feel a little tired. I took a couple of minutes walk between 7 and 8, then finished without any real trials.

I’ll admit I was kind of scared after last week–26.2 miles?–but I feel much better now. I’m creeping up on half of the distance, and I haven’t broken yet. Still… I’ve only done two long runs, and I’ve got 17 more plus the marathon. I’m really curious to see if I can pull this off.

spring break

This week was spring break, although it only sort of went down as such. Leslie didn’t have the week off, which sort of put a damper on travel or recreation, and on Monday the initial reviews of our SIGGRAPH paper came back, which we had about 48 hours to rebut. At most conferences it’s just an accept/reject right out, but for some reason at SIGGRAPH they give you the chance to answer the criticisms of the reviewers before they make the final decision. We got pretty good reviews–I think we have a good shot at getting in. We sent off the rebuttal on Tuesday without too much fanfare. I spent most of the rest of my productive time during the week working on the paper for SCA, trying to put together cool examples. I’ll be sure to share when we’ve got something neat.

Marathon training continues apace. Last Sunday I did a mildly punishing 9 miles, and this week I’ve been keeping up with the shorter training runs, and also climbing and doing yoga. My food intake has increased accordingly… I feel like a large portion of my waking hours are now spent preparing and consuming food, or burning into oblivion all the resultant calories with Sisyphean trips to nowhere on treadmills, yoga mats, up and down walls. Tomorrow is 10 miles. I hope there’s a good movie on cable that will carry me through the hour and a half or so, and I should remember to bring something to eat this time.

midterm, marathon

This last week I had my (only) midterm for my (only) class, graduate networking. It was a reasonable test and I did reasonably well on it, I think. Otherwise I’ve been working on that new paper for SCA, fighting various pieces of software to simulate what’s basically an intestine. I’ll be sure to post the movie once I get it done.

We got initial reviews back from our SIGGRAPH paper, which were very good on the whole. Most of the reviewers seemed to think we should be accepted, and the problems they found I think we can find resonable responses for (which we send in the form of “rebuttals”). If the paper actually does get in, I’ll be very stoked. At the least I’ll have a good reason to go to LA this summer.

I’ve started training for the San Francisco Marathon. I know it sounds insane, but when I started college, I made a resolution that before I turn 25, I will run a marathon. As it turns out, I turn 25 this November, so this seemed like the last viable opportunity. My brother is training with me. Let me be clear about something: I am not a hardcore runner. I am not even really a runner, except in the sense that I have “run” and own a pair of “running shoes.” I don’t pine for long, lonley stretches of track to jog down. I’m actually kind of lazy. So, when I say I’m going to run a marathon, I want to assure you that I’m doing it in the laziest possible way. So, our fundamental goal is to get our selves to the physical state where we could complete a marathon without permanently damaging ourselves while doing as little as possible “running” to prepare for it.

Specifically, we’ll probably be doing 11-ish minutes per mile for the actual race, and train by running just three times a week until the actual marathon (July). I have my first long-ish run scheduled tomorrow (9 miles). The schedule is set up so that every week I have one long run and two short runs. Eventually the long run gets up to 24 miles, but I’m going to just not think about that yet. At our pace, running 24 miles will take over 4 hours. Not thinking about it. No. For now, 9 miles. About an hour and a half. Water. Gummi bears. I’ll be fine.

new paper, CA weather returns

So, while in NYC I got an email from James about another paper, this one for SCA, that extends the one we submitted to SIGGRAPH. It should certainly shake things up for this semester. Due on 20 April or thereabouts.

In other news, we have officially reverted here in norcal to the standard 70-and-sunny configuration which should persist until November or so. It arrived just in time for Ali, who visited for a few days at the end of his spring break. He came in Wednesday night. Thursday he came up to Berkeley with me, saw the campus, had lunch with the graphics folke, and then we went to Ironworks to climb. He witnessed first-hand the shockingly over-rated (in difficulty) routes. Friday we worked, went shopping for a delicious lamb and mint sauce dinner Ali came up with, then went home and got (almost) too drunk to cook it. After dinner was savored, we went to a go-cart racing track we found in Fremont (Doug, reluctantly sober, drove us) and managed to place 1-2-3 (Doug, Ali, Bryan) despite our mild inebriation.

Saturday we slept in, visited SF, and ultimately ended up at my place. I took Ali to the airport the next morning.

Spring break. Two weeks. Nutty.

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