Monday, November 30, 2009

Diet from Hell: Day One

So, we kicked off the old diet today. On paper it doesn't sound half bad, but for some reason, it is. Any thyroid person would probably agree. The problem is twofold: everything is just ... bland. And it is not at all filling. I am hungry ten minutes after every meal. So for two weeks, it's like I have an insatiable hunger. Take that and throw into the mix the fact that I am 48 hours out from doing an ultramarathon in which I burned an estimated 6,000 calories and you can see where I am going with all this.

Anyway, huge props to the lovely Wife for cooking and getting me through all this. It ain't easy but I really appreciate her fine effort.

BREAKFAST: fruit smoothie

SNACK: Handful of almonds

LUNCH: Salad with mixed veggies; Chicken noodle soup

SNACK: Handful of almonds/banana

DINNER: Artichoke, Portobello mushroom, pasta with turkey sauce.

SNACK: popcorn cooked in Olive oil

So, as you can see, it's quite healthy. But I already miss fat, calories and good old fashioned salt.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Diet from Hell Returneth

So, I am pretty sore today. I guess that is was happens when you run 29 miles over nearly seven hours in total with almost 10,000 feet in climbing. Soreness is all in my calves and hamstrings. My quads actually feel pretty good. I felt good on most downhills too, so those muscles must be in decent shape.

As I indicated yesterday, it wasn't my best day and Payro pretty much dragged me around all day. I have two theories as to what might have went wrong.

One is something that I have been wondering about for quite some time; whether my synthroid is dialed in properly for someone who indulges in endurance events to the extent I do. I've talked to my doctor about this before and intend to do so again. The net net though is that I'm not exactly the runner I was pre-cancer and I don't think age is the major factor here. This would seem to make sense, considering its the thyroid that provides forward thrust and mine is majorly compromised (to the extent that it doesn't exist). My bloodwork indicates that my levels are fine, but I wonder if one needs a boost that the body naturally provides when engaging in a multi hour endurance event. Gail, you come across any literature on this subject?

Second theory? I was a bit too undertrained. My longest run time wise was three hours (that aborted 25k three weeks ago) and my longest run distance wise was 16.5 I'm not sure either prepared me adequately for the rigors of a race such as this.

Third theory? I'm aging. I'll leave that alone for now.

Anyway, the bottom line is that I am seriously happy to have finished. This is pretty hardcore race and getting to wear the Quad Dipsea finishers shirt is a badge of honor around here.

I'm actually starting to think that I will give it a shot again next year. This time, I hope that I don't pee blood again. I'm getting tired of that little problem too.

In other news, I start my low iodine diet tomorrow, in preparation for my three year scan on the 16th. As any thyroid cancer survivor can tell you, the diet is a bit of a bummer. No preservatives, dairy, chocolate and much more. Everything basically needs to be home made and with precision. And there is no margin for error. The Wife is bumming as she is going to have to essentially cook my next 52 consecutive meals. More on this later; I am sure I will write a post or two on the menu of the day.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Best Way to Celebrate A Big Race...

... is with a great - and I mean great - beer. I present to you Pliny the Elder.

I'll have more on the race tomorrow but suffice to say it was epic. I struggled a bit and didn't have th race I had hoped for - and I probably held Perrault back a bit - but screw it. This race is just epic and I'm sincerely happy just to have finished. But boy - did I suffer.

Anyway, more tomorrow when my brain isn't as scrambled. I've attached a few race photos in addition to the one of the beer.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Terrific Thanksgiving here in old Marin County, CA. My boy Payro and some of our good friends did a Turkey Trot together. The Little Boy did the Kid's mile (he had a bit of a tough run. Something about a bellyache) and then joined me for the 5k and did great. Super fun time had by all and what or me is one of the best days of the Year. Anyway, there's obviously a lot to be thankful for. Friends. Family. My job. Health. And you guys. Cant tell you how thankful I am for our little community; I really appreciate each and every one of you; old friends and new.

From my family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Somewhere Under the Rainbow

I di a 9 mile, pre Quad Dipsea race today in San Francisco with my boy Payro, who's in from D.C. Let's hope this wasn't a harbinger of things to come next week because I felt like complete crap. Not sure if it was the rainy weather, or my legs are just cooked from all this training, but I just felt awful. Think my pace was around 7:40 or so. It's not that I was going that slow, just that I felt crappy the entire way and my heart was pegged super high. Enough of that. Don't want to bring myself bad luck.

Anyway, on the way home the sky cleared and I saw the most amazing rainbow; it literally spanned from Mount Tam to Sausalito. I snapped a picture while driving (I know, I know) attached, which doesn't come close to doing it justice.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Napa Valley

My in-laws have been in town all week and unfortunately, we haven't had a chance to do many fun activities. In certain respects, we have put them to work (my father in law talked about radiology and x rays with the Boy's fifth grade hit. Rumor has it the xrays he showed them were a big hit).

I digress. So, I am taking a much needed day off tomorrow and we are headed to Napa. I'm not much of a wino myself (more of a scotch and beer guy) but you kind of learn wine out here by assimilation. So, while my overall knowledge is a bit limited, I do know what I like (mostly cab's and Pinot's). On the agenda tomorrow Etude, Joseph Phelps (my favorite), Peju, Silver Oak and a few others. I am open to suggestions if I'm missing anything.

In other news, I cannot wait for this damn Quad Dipsea to be finished. I am sore literally form top to bottom. I am ruminating on 2010 goals and am contemplating doing 12 marathons over 12 months each one progressively faster than the preceding. For good measure, I'm thinking about doing it as a big fundraising effort for Livestrong.

Anyway, more on that for another post.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

This is Pretty Cool

This comes courtesy of a very cool website, It creates "Word Clouds" based on frequency of key words within a text, or in this instance, in a blog. The larger the words in a cloud, the greater the frequency within the respective text.

Anyway, here is the Word Cloud for this here site. I think it actually captures the essence of it rather nicely.

Johnny Damon

Uncle Mikey from Florida wins Uncle of the Year award for tracking down Yankees hero Johnny Damon and asking him to sign a ball for the Little Boy. Hanukah definitely came early to our house. Way to go Uncle Gaga. You are the man!

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pictures from the Weekend

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Indian Summer Continueth

Another nice Indian Summer Weekend. The in-laws are in from New York and we had a pretty active time: hikes and running yesterday (the Little Boy particularly impressed. He ran five miles on the trails yesterday and another four today, all on fairly gnarly singletrack) more of the same today and a little paddle boarding and kayaking thrown in for good measure. Thrown in some good ethnic eating; Greek (if you have never been to Kokari in SF, it is highly recommended) and Puerto Rican (Sol Food in San Rafael) and you have the making of a pretty good weekend.

In other news, Michigan football is an a complete and utter free fall. I'd be beside myself, but the Yankees won the World Series for the first time in nine years, so I'm not allowed to complain. I'll leave that for the time being to my father and brother.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Old Gear

I found this bad boy the other day - an absolute classic! Hard to believe it's nearly 15 years old. I think this was the last of old school New York City Marathon painters cap. Without question this other oldest running gear still in my possession. Anyone have an item that pre-dates this one?? If so, let's hear about it.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon


I've been so busy these past few days with work and travel to LA that I just realized I haven't posted in a few days. Not too much to report, really. My life consists of work, kids, running and more work. This past weekend was a particular doozy: a three hour race on Saturday, featuring 5,400 feet of climbing followed by a 2 hour run on Sunday with 2,600 feet of climbing. Suffice to say, I am pretty hammered. I also think I am as ready as I will be for the Quad DIpsea. Speaking of that race, which is t-minus two weeks and counting, I'm thinking about doing a live tweet. If you are on twitter, my name is Howardsol.

Beyond that, listening to some pretty cool new music by new and upcoming bands including Them Crooked Vultures (featuring Dave Grohl and the singer from Queens of the Stone Age), Bear in Heaven, Ramona Falls, and Surfer Blood. All very interesting and pretty good.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

More Dipsea

The Little Girl ran with me today from our house to Muir Woods. It was pretty fun; people were hanging ou of their cars rooting her on. She is a gnarly little chick.

Her mom picked her up and I continued on my own. All was good until I stumbled upon this little snake. Scared the crap out of me.

Anyway, ran three hours yesterday (got completely lost during a race. I'll save this story for another post) and then a little more than two hours today. My legs are trashed and my metabolism is stoked but I think I am ready for the Quad Dipsea in three weeks.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

The View from the Top of the Dipsea Trail

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Thursday, November 5, 2009

2009 World Champion New York Yankees

So, mission accomplished. I have to say this was one of my favorite baseball seasons ever and not necessarily because the Yankees won the World Series (oh how I love to type those words). That was just the icing on the cake. I enjoyed this 2009 baseball seaon because I was truly, genuinely able to enjoy it with my son, which I think to a certain extent is every father's dream. We watched baseball together non-stop. We talked about baseball. We participated together in a rotisserie baseball league. We went to games in all sorts of different stadiums and of course, towards the very end, we road tripped together to the World Series.

Essentially, we had some serious father-son bonding over baseball. And that, at the end of the day, is what baseball is all about. So thank you New York Yankees, for putting a cap on what was for you -- and for me -- and for my Little Boy -- an unforgettable season.

Now how many days until Pitchers and Catchers?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Beatles

I am fortunate enough to have recently gotten my hands on the remastered Beatles albums. Having listened to most of their albums the past few weeks while running, all I can say is that there's no question they are the greatest rock band of all time and no one will ever surpass them.

Ok, I know that statement was a bit on the subjective side. But still...

Anyway, if you have any Beatles in your iTunes library or on disc, I do suggest that you dust it off and give it a listen. I think you will quickly agree that it's simply astonishing how timeless their music really is.

My favorite? It's probably a tie between The White Album and Seargent Pepper's. The one that has surprised me the most and that I am enjoying more than anticipated? I would have to say Revolver.

Any album I don't like? Not a one.

Monday, November 2, 2009


I'm watching this Yankees game; was hoping they could put it away tonight, but I gues asking to win three in a roll in Philadelphia is asking a lot. Sure do wish we weren't getting completely dominated by Lee again. Makes me as nervous as can be for a potential game 7. 

In other news, not too much to report. Let's see:

-- the little girl finished second in her age group in her first-ever triathlon. Nice effort from She WHo Has More Energy than anyone on this planet.

-- I picked up an annoying head cold during my travels last week. I guess that was to be expected. 

-- I am two plus weeks out from my hardest race in a long while; the Quad Dipsea.  This one has got me more than a tad bit nervous. 28 miles with about 9,000 feet of climbing. Yowza.

I think that's about it. Back to the game I guess........

Posted via email from Howard Solomon