Running Again

My running shoes have come out of hibernation, and it feels good. Chrissy is working her way through a 5k training program, and I’m joining her for support & to get myself back into shape.

Our new place makes this quite nice, with flat roads and an ocean cliffside path just blocks from our home. We’re doing three runs a week, building up distance. I’m using MapMyFitness this time to track the runs, but also have Strava going in the background. Apparently all the cool kids use Strava, but it definitely seems more oriented towards bike riding instead of running. Both MapMyFitness and Strava offer a premium app experience with more advanced features, but at the tune of $30/yr and $60/yr respectively, seem pricey for a beginner casual runner like me. However, Strava’s basic app does do heart rate tracking, which is interesting to see.

One thing I’ve noticed is that MapMyRun and Strava differ greatly on their calorie burned numbers. My entered height and weight is same, and the apps match up well in mileage, total time, and average pace. But Strava consistently reports a number almost 75 to 100kCal higher than MapMyFitness. Given that so far it claims I’m burning ~300 kCal each workout, this is a pretty large error. Honestly, I know these numbers are just gross ballpark figures, but it’s an insight into each apps’s calorie algorithms. While each app has my heart rate information available, neither one actually uses that data.

Silly technological analytics aside, all this brings back good feelings (endorphin highs!) that I remember during my half marathon training in 2011.  What’s important isn’t the fancy quantified tracking or calorie tracking. it’s feeling healthy, being out in nature, exploring new areas on foot. I want to get back to where I run a 5k every day. Now, Chrissy has already mentioned a 10k training program, so let’s see where this goes.


Music: Slyvan Esso

Latest album I can’t stop listening to are newcomers Slyvan Esso, a duo out of Durham, NC. While acknowledging that genres don’t break cleanly when you realm into the indie land, I suppose this would fall into electropop, but more on the lines of Poliça instead of CHVRCHES.

This music is restrained, shifting, sensual. Their breakout single, “Coffee”, illustrates this quite well. The combination of Amelia Meath’s vocals (of Mountain Men) over Nick Sanborn’s beats (of Megafaun) is pleasing, creative, and multilayered.

Check out of their songs:

Listen to this

My friend Brock Winstead has started a podcast! The Eastern Shore is broadcasted every Monday afternoon from 2-4pm on , and is about all things in the East Bay.

This is Brock’s first real try at running a podcast, and it’s remarkable how far he’s come in a short time. He’s got a natural voice for radio :)

The variety of topics is also great — Brock has covered topics ranging from surveillance & privacy, the burgeoning restaurant scene, urban agriculture, bus rapid transit, and the contentious topic of baseball.

That ticking sound in your head

I caught up with Greg over some Patxi’s pizza (yummmm) down in Palo Alto earlier this week. He had some great great stories to tell from his trip to Indonesia, and turns out both he and I got sick and stayed sick upon our arrival stateside. We almost had a chance to spend a night in Hong Kong together, but the timing just slipped away.

Greg is entering his final quarter at Stanford, nearly complete with his MBA from the Graduate School of Business. I asked him if he has that ticking sound in his head, and he affirmed my hunch. I heard it loudly during my last quarter at Stanford, back in 2009. The environment has so much to offer you, and it becomes a race against time to soak up as much as you can before you depart. Getting ready for what’s next versus staying in the moment.

It makes me think — do I hear a ticking in my head now? I’ll reach my five year anniversary at Apple this September. It will be the longest time I’ve been part of an institution since elementary school. But after a rough patch last year, I find myself really happy where I am now. I have a manager who I respect immensely,  a team I love being in, and constant challenges that I can learn and grow from.

How loud is the ticking in your head?



A glistening golden hour

Darted out my building today to catch the 6:35pm shuttle back home.

The asphalt glistened in the setting sun. The grass and leaves shone with a louder shade of green. A crispness and a briskness imbued the air as I inhaled.

Moments like this have a way of commanding attention.

A much needed respite amidst the ever-pinging devices that surround me.


The time has come to reboot

I was inspired by how my friend Melih used his blog for reflection, for expression, and for jotting down life’s diverse experiences…from the mundane to the profound. Melih is someone I deeply, deeply, admire. He has that rare knack for nourishing your mind and heart.

Compared to the past incarnation of this web space (which ran from 2005 to 2011), I aim for a more  extemporaneous feel, with less emphasis on by-the-numbers rundowns on events and more focused on thoughts, sparks, and emotions.

Let’s see where this goes.

a thought, a spark