Saturday, April 30, 2011

Birthday

Well, I couldn't have possibly asked for a nicer birthday. The in-laws and my parents are both visiting from the East Coast and we started the day with time trials for the Little Girl, who swam incredibly well (four best times). She is getting better and better and is a joy to watch. We then went to the Little Boy's game and his team, the Yankees (!), beat the Red Sox 8-6 in a thriller. Little BOy played pretty well in the field with four great fielding plays. Life is always good when the Yanks beat the Red Sox, even if it's little league. After the game I squeezed in a six miler and then we headed to a terrific family dinner.

To add to it all, it was 75 and perfect and my tax return arrived. Life is indeed good, even at 45.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Article in Today's New York TImes on Thyroid Cancer

Interesting article on thyroid cancer that appeared today. Link here. Thyroid cancer is back in the news after Dr. Oz recommended that people wear a thyroid shield when receiving xrays. His recommendation seems to have created quite a stir but I don't think it's a bad precautionary idea at all. What the downside, really?

Though I'll never be able to "prove" it, there is absolutely no question whatsoever in my mind that my thyroid cancer was the result of all the dental xrays I had as a kid. I had more dental work done than I could express and it just makes sense, especially given the fact that I have no genetic connection to thyroid cancer on either side of my family.

Anyway, an interesting read and I'm glad the issue is being discussed.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Nike Plus SportsWatch

I got this bad boy today as an early birthday gift for myself. I couldn't resist - my Garmin is getting a bit old (though it's served me well) and it's rare that there are cool new running toys. Also, Nike's parter here, TomTom, is a sometimes client - and I have to support my clients, don't I?

Anyway, I just got it tonight and will take it for a test run in LA tomorrow night. Stay tuned for a report. One thing I can say for sure though - for a GPS watch, it's pretty good looking.

Image

Sent from my iPhone

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Greetings From the Big Apple

I'm in NYC for a quick series of in and out business meetings. Work wise, these last few weeks have been absolutely ferocious and I am more than ready for a vacation - not that I have one planned any time soon.

ANyway, we had a dinner in tribeca tonight and the drive home was awesome; we drove by three former apartments (Morton street, 25th and Washington, for those of you who remember that far back), cruised by one of my favorite former clubs (DOn Hills - cannot believe that it's still around) and walked past the office building where I met the Mrs (1675 Broadway). I also managed to squeeze in a quick four mile run in Central Park, which is right next to this sketchy ass hotel I'm staying at. Love running in the Park - it takes me way back in time - but quite honestly, I'll take the hills of Marin.

More tomorrow; might try to get a capture a few photos.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Kids

Enormously proud of both kids today. The Little Boy ran a tough 10k race with me in the am in San Francisco. He bellyached a bit but stayed with it. He's not in great running shape but he's turning into a terrific little runner. He out kicked me in the end, turned to me with a huge smile and said he wanted to do another one next week. We finished in 55 minutes and change, which was around 9 minute pace. Not bad for a little dude. He came in 2nd in the under 17 category. The Little Girl had a swim meet in Sunnyvale. It was her first long course meet (50 meter pool) and a very competitive field. She ended up taking 3rd overall in fly in a very good time and 7th in free. After the meet, she insisted on going directly to the pool, where she swam for another two hours, to go along with the six - six - she spent in the water yesterday. She's a water bug. My pride in them has nothing to do with their relative performances. I just love how active they are - and how much they enjoy an active lifestyle.

Sent from my iPhone

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Los Angeles

Sorry so quiet these past few days; I've been in LA Monday-Thursday and have been working 12-14 hour days. The family decided to come up with me - the kids are on spring break, so we drove up early Monday and returned just a few moments ago. Man, that is one long ass drive.

The Kids and Wife had a fun time - they went to Disney, Santa Monica Pier, Beverly Hills and more - and I didn't see them at all.

Anyway, whirlwind few days. We had a big party in LA last night and introduced my staff to our new one (they firm we acquired last week). It was a ton of fun but coupled with all day meetings, a bit exhausting. And next week is not going to be any easier, especially with a three day trip to NYC sandwiched in the middle. Fun times. Good thing I get a quasi two week break from training after the big race.

Speaking of which, I am recovering very nicely from that race. I feel pretty damn god and might even give me legs a little test tomorrow. In retrospect, I really couldn't be happier about how last Saturday went. We ran well and even throughout the day; felt pretty good throughout and recovered well. Can't ask for more and a sign that I/we (I include Todd here) are in pretty good shape.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Race Report: American River 50 Miler




To paraphrase Charles Dickens, it was the best of times it was the ... well, the best of times.

The super short version: Todd and I had a complete and utter blast. It was an epic, fun weekend - one which I will remember for a very long time. Sidenote: it always helps to run these long ones with a buddy. Don't think I ever will - or ever would want to - run 50 miles solo.

The weekend started on Friday night with a pasta dinner and talk by a group of area ultrarunners. I was skeptical, but it was actually very interesting. Payro would have loved it. The race director from Western States had a few words to say and there were a few legendary runners in attendance.

Race morning started on a bit of a scary note. We left my car at the hotel and walked the half mile or so to the race start. Only problem is that we left at 5:30 am - it was pitch dark - and we had no idea where we were going. After a bit of a scare, we got to the start literally with one minute to spare. No exaggeration, either.

The first 27 miles of the race were flat as a pancake; it was a towpath that ran alongside the American River. The terrain and topography was magnificent. Our biggest challenge was reigning in the pace. We had a real hard time running quite that slow on a flat course. With some effort we kept a pretty steady 9:45-ish pace, hitting the marathon mark in 4:28.

We ran into my family - our crew - at mile 27 and that was just awesome. The Wife and kids were rock stars all day - I'm not sure what we would have done without them. After a rather long aid station break, we hit the trails at mile 27, which is where the race really began. There were a lot of rollers - nothing too bad, though the singletrack (no fireroads at all) were more than a little technical at times.

For the next 23 miles, we held nice and steady. We power walked the hills, and ran virtually everything else. I felt a little wobbly around mile 44 or so but it passed pretty quickly. I guess youre expected to feel wobbly after 44 freaking miles. Same with Todd; he felt good all day and was super strong. No major (or even minor) issues on his end either.

Once you hit mile 47 on this course, it's all uphill. Literally. The course profile is ridiculous. In fact, it looks like this. At that point in the game, there was really no option but to walk. Even if we were fresh - which we weren't - there wasn't much chance of running this portion. We power walked at around 14-15 minute pace, which was pretty solid all things considered.

Another highlight was Last Gasp, the mile 47.5 aid station. It was manned by top ultra runners, including Anton Krupicka, who's one super cool dude. Those guys really stoked me the way they were supporting us middle-of-the-packers.

So anyway, we finished in a better-than-expected time of 10:07. We probably could have gone sub 10, too, if we pushed it a bit harder and/or took shorter aid station breaks. But whatever. I think I speak for Todd in saying we accomplished our main goals): finishing in one piece, feeling good in the process and having one hell of a good time all day long.

Once again, much love to Wife, Little Boy and Little Girl. They were awesome in every respect and again, we could not have done it without them.

And much respect to my main man Todd for crossing the country for this race. We've shared a ton of great memories and experiences, having been best friends for more than 20 years. With this one in the books, we certainly added an epic one to the mix.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Work

Sorry so quiet this week; I've been head down in LA working (yes dad. I work. Pretty hard, too!) on this.

This is the first acquisition I've been directly involved with and it's been a pretty exciting experience. This has been eight months in the making. I couldn't be more delighted with our partner in this, The Rogers Group. They have an amazing reputation in LA , are a very classy organization and their principal, Ron Rogers is someone that can be a mentor not just to me but my entire staff.

Anyway, exciting times.

And with that, tomorrow I leave for the American Rover 50. WIll try to send one more pre-race post but in the event I don't, please send Todd and I good vibes. Though I feel ready, I suspect they won't hurt.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Rawhide Down

I've been on a reading tear this year and just finished Rawhide Down, which chronicles all events that occurred on the day that Ronald Reagan was shot thirty years ago. I'll never forget that day, by the way - I was home sick from school and heard the news break on the radio while in the car with my mother.

Though you know how this story ends, it is an absolutely riveting read - it reads as fast and furiously as a Clancy novel. I finished it in just two days.

Two things that particularly struck me: Reagan's bravery throughout the course of that fateful day and John Hinkley's utter insanity. I'm convinced that he should never be considered for parole. Not after the devastation that he caused not just the Reagan family, but the families of the three others who were shot that day.

Anyway, if you are looking for a fascinating and fast read, this fits the bill. Next up, I think is 56!, a look at Joe DiMaggio's legendary 56 gamer hitting streak, and what it meant at the time to a country that was getting ready for war.

If anyone has other recommendations, please let me know.

Saturday, April 2, 2011