Robovie-PC Wins First Robot Marathon (At a Very Slow Pace)

Ah, marathons. It seems that robots are now taking up the task of running them for us. The winner of the first robot marathon is a small robot called Robovie-PC.

robovie marathon robot japan race mini humanoid

Read more @ Technabob

2010 Scott Genius

2010 Scott Genius LTD

Ever since I started mountain biking, I’ve always wanted a Scott Genius. It’s been a favorite, though it couldn’t be sold in the US for a few years due to some legal issues with Specialized. Last year, the Genius LTD retailed for over $13,000 USD, making it an extremely expensive MTB. This year, the prices have dropped by almost $3,000 on the LTD. However, looking through the specs, I find it surprising that they didn’t use the full SRAM XX group. Maybe there is a reason behind it, but I’d rather equip my Genius the way I want.

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Are Marathons Safe?

Over at the Well blog of the NYT, Tara Parker Pope wonders if marathons are safe. As an endurance sport, if you aren’t well trained or well prepared, they can be dangerous. Her research indicates that triathlons are even more dangerous. How about ultra-marathons?

Another interesting post is about running barefoot, but that’s already been mentioned on this blog. Running barefoot is good for you.

Ultramarathoners Remove Toe Nails

Permanently removed toe nails, Matthew Staver for NYT
Mr. Ulrich's permanently removed toe nails, Matthew Staver for NYT

More and more ultramarathoners are opting to have their toe nails permanently removed.

Asics Sortie Marathon Japan Duo

Asics Sortie Marathon Japan Duo
Asics Sortie Marathon Japan Duo, the color I wanted

When I went sneaker shopping two weeks ago, I discovered the Asics Japan shoe line. They were specifically made for marathon runners. I was intrigued.

Let me tell you that I absolutely abhor going into a department store to find shoes⁵, even if it’s a high-end store like Sogo. In fact, don’t go to Sogo. You’ll save money by going to regular shops. For sneakers, I recommend the Gongguan area (公館站)¹, which has got at least a dozen different sneakers, carrying everything from Nike to Acupuncture².

Update: I’ve worn them for a full day and you barely notice that you are wearing any shoes. They are extremely light. I’d like to get a small scale to see how many grams they do weigh. I’m pretty happy with my purchase.

Continue reading “Asics Sortie Marathon Japan Duo”

Marathon Running

A great article on marathon running over at 3QD.

When the marathon began as an Olympic event in 1896, it was considered by many sports enthusiasts to border on cruel and unusual punishment of the human body.

Running Barefoot is Good

This article says that running with high-end trainers is a bad idea. People get a lot more injured now with these fancy things on their feet. It’s actually better to run barefoot.

6.1 Km

Well, I totally failed this morning to get up at 6AM. Instead, I got up at 7:20AM. It was funny because I was the first one up. It was a beautiful day, with a temperature of about 3C, which was perfect to go for a run.

I finished school at 4:30PM and headed home. By the time I had my running gear on, it was almost 5:15PM. I took this route, which was quite familiar. I used to run it a lot last year. It took me 36:03 to complete, which isn’t bad. My fastest pace is about 5 min per km, I did that back in November with an 8km run. Still, I’m pretty happy. I wasn’t blazingly fast and I did take two short breaks, but all in all, I’m happy.

I kind of slightly busted my ankle on the way home on a pothole. However, I was still able to run home, so I guess it must not be that bad. I’ve got it all bandaged up and I’ll put some ice on it later.

It was really stupid of me, but I forgot to zip up my pocket in which I had my keys. So naturally, they fell out. I arrived back and started looking for them. Luckily, I managed to find them very quickly, as I had tied my shoelaces right outside our apartment. That was a lucky break.

What would I do different? Take a tuque and a scarf. That’s it. It still pretty windy and you can’t run without them. I had some thin gloves on and I was fine. I was wearing a Arc’Teryx Alpha SV hardshell, but that didn’t really bother me. Underneath, I was just wearing a super thin t-shirt and my running pants with thin socks.

So if I run 20-30km this week, I’ll be happy. I’ll try to be reasonable and not increase my mileage too drastically, which is what I shamelessly did last year. I could go for an afternoon run tomorrow, as I don’t have any classes starting 2PM. That’s actually pretty good. Or go on Friday morning.

On Monday, I wasn’t really sore. On Tuesday, parts of my body felt the run. It’s strange to have that feeling again. It’s not unpleasant. I’m looking forward to taking off the extra pounds that I gained during Christmas.

4.6 KM

I finally started running again. It’s been at least 3 months since I stopped. There were a lot of different reasons why I stopped running. First of all, my left knee was bothering me a lot. After consulting my sister who’s a physiotherapist and other runners, I probably started running too much too quickly.

The weather got cold quickly and I didn’t really feel like buying a lot of new gear for just a few months. Running inside was possible, but I had long days at school and didn’t want to make them longer.

Since February, I’ve been wanting to start once again. I finally did so tonight. It was the strangest time to go for a run, 7:40PM, but I made something fun out of it. I ran to the Musée de la Civilisation to see a short film for which my mom had written the script for. It was about an anti-racism week. It took me about 11:35 minutes to get there. 13 minutes to get back, though most of the run back was done uphill. All in all, I was pretty satisfied with the effort. It was short enough not to tire me out too much and intense enough to give me a workout. This is the route I took.

Tomorrow, I’ll go for about 5-6km. If I run 30km this week, I’ll be happy. I’ve pretty much calculated that the only time that I can go run is in the morning. There is no other time in the day. That means that I’ll have to get up an hour earlier to do so. I hope that it works out.

8 KM

After a break of almost a week, because of midterms, I was back at running. This time, the run was great. I ran with my roommate the usual route and we completed 8 km in 40 minutes. That’s 12 kph, back at my fastest speed!

That’s 2:31 faster than my usual speed. Maybe it’s the break, maybe it’s the crosstraining, but I was feeling good. I did take two breaks of about 1 minute during the run, which didn’t stop the clock. Before you know it, I’ll be back not taking any breaks. However, from my research, it seems that taking breaks is great for cardio training. Bringing heart beats up and down is really good.

My biggest mistake when starting my marathon training was simply adding too many miles in a short time. This week, I’ll be happy to do 20 or 30 km, and then slowly increase the mileage by no more than 10% each week. A body can take only so much punishment, and I think that I’m aware of the problems that can surface if you over train.

I’ve decided not to join the triathlon team. The tendons in my knee plus my massive school load make it impossible for me to find an extra 14 hours to train with them. Still, once I have more time, I’d like to join a team.

Now that I have a bike, I’ll be doing cross-training in my off days. I want to make sure that I do some physical activity each day. I’ve already thought of a few really fun things that I could do, like racing around the Plaines D’Abraham in mock MTB style. It’s really close and lots of fun. Also, I plan on doing some anaerobic exercises by using the bike to climb hills repeatedly. I think that I’ll start this week with that.