Welcome to thatlinuxbox.com Friday, May 22 2015 @ 09:13 PM EDT

My dailymile_export tool - this time in Perl

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  • Wednesday, May 20 2015 @ 02:55 PM EDT
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I first announced my dailymile export tool in February 2015.

Announcing v1.2 of my dailymile export tool

In this most recent release of dailymile_export I have included a Perl 5 version of the script. The download bundle is available:

https://github.com/danstoner/dailymile_export/releases

The basic usage info of the perl script:

 

$ perl dailymile_export_to_csv.pl --help

Description:

  Script to download entries from the dailymile API for a particular user into a CSV.

Usage: dailymile_export_to_tsv.pl [OPTIONS]

  Parameters:
    --help, -h         Display this usage help.
    --username, -u USERNAME
                       The dailymile.com username to export (Required).
  Options:
    --debug, -d        Enable debug level output.
    --gear, -g         Enable download of gear info (not yet available)
    --maxpages, -m MAX
                       Maximum number of pages to fetch (to limit http requests during testing)

 

The github repo for the project is located:

https://github.com/danstoner/dailymile_export

If my dailymile export tool is useful to you, or you have suggestions or feedback, please leave a comment here or as a github issue.

 

Five Points of Life Marathon 2015 - BQ!

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  • Wednesday, April 15 2015 @ 08:29 PM EDT
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Photo via Five Points of Life (Facebook)

In February I finished my third marathon, the Five Points of Life Marathon 2015. Here's all of the good stuff... Official finish time was a BQ of 3:12:50 (should meet the 2016 Boston Marathon qualifying standards), Masters Winner, PR by over 13 minutes, top-10 overall, and just a few places out of the overall cash prizes.

I had 3 possible marathon goals going into the race, in increasing level of difficulty (always have multiple race goals says John Davis):

1. run a PR (my previous personal best was 3:26:14)
2. run a BQ time (under 3:15 for the 40 - 44 age group)
3. break 3 hours

I am glad that I was able to hit my intermediate goal. I don't think I would have done this without the last 6 miles of pacing from Matthew Howland (thank you sir!). I started getting some cramping in my hamstrings a little before mile 20 where Matthew started running with me. At around mile 22 I was handed a Strawberry Banana gel that tasted amazing and shortly after that the cramping subsided. I never got my pace back down but I was able to keep moving and finish the race.

I was definitely in the best shape of my life going into the race, but wow, the marathon is a beast! Muscle cramps are frustrating since it isn't a matter of mentally "pushing through the pain". The pace calculators / projections say that I can get under the 3-hour mark based on my 1:23:40 Half Marathon, it is just a matter of putting in the training (more miles!), avoiding the muscle cramps, and bringing it all together in a race. I'm pretty happy I was able to run the time I did averaging around 40 miles per week.

I plotted my mile splits (some are estimated) and the following graph definitely looks different than my first marathon attempt where I had severe muscle cramping:

Race The Tortoise 5k 2015 - Race Report

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  • Saturday, April 04 2015 @ 07:48 PM EDT
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I earned my first "tortoise trophy" at the 2015 Race The Tortoise 5k at O'Leno State Park. This is always a nice event and a fast course.

I just didn't have a lot of racing gumption in me that day but still managed a Masters win. Congrats to the woman and boy who finished ahead of me. Lyubov Denisova and Anton Matchev both ran strong races (also got tortoise trophies!). Here are the top 3 finisher results:

Place Bib # Name Finish Time Pace per Mile Gender Age Age Rank
1 142 LYUBOV DENISOVA 17:57.7 5:46 F 43 1st Overall Female
2 146 ANTON MATCHEV 18:15.6 5:52 M 11 1st Overall Male
3 135 DAN STONER 18:24.4 5:55 M 40 1st Male Master
 
 
 
The O'Leno State Park "CCC Boy" statue commemorating the Civilian Conservation Corps:
 
 
My Altra Instinct 3.0 shoes, race t-shirt, medal, and trophy:
 
 

Robust Trail Shoes for the Minimalist-Minded, 2015 edition

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  • Sunday, March 15 2015 @ 09:52 AM EDT
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I have been looking for a more robust trail shoe to handle a 40- or 50-mile Ultra over rugged terrain (think Mohican 50 in Ohio or Highlands Sky 40 in West Virginia or maybe Pine Mountain 40 in GA). I am hoping for more protection from rocks underneath and from kicking roots with my toes. My NB Minimus MT00 are great shoes but some terrain wants a little more shoe.

I am not considering shoes with elevated heels and prefer to stick with zero drop shoes only. Elevated heels lead me to knee pain so I just stay away from them.

A friend gave me a used pair of The Lone Peak 1.5 shoes (the bright red ones). Of the three versions of The Lone Peak, I think I like the 1.5 best. It falls into the pile of Altra shoes that have a firm cushion rather than a soft pillowy ride. The Lone Peak 1.5 is no longer in production, so it does not make the list of shoes I could buy today (although I do still see them on ebay from time to time). I also tried the Altra Lone Peak 2.0 and it definitely feels more comfortable than the original Lone Peak but it didn't feel amazing so I sent it back.



There are some other shoes I tried that won't work.

I have the Altra Olympus maximal cushion shoes but after some trial runs would never choose it for a technical trail race or on anything rugged due to traction issues and stack height.

I ruled out the Merrell Bare Access Trail because it felt just too constricted on my foot. I was a little sad because it really looked like a great shoe on paper and I have had good luck with other Merrells. I haven't seen any buzz about this shoe and there are only a few reviews online. For people whose feet fit well into Merrell's "bare" or "glove" lines, the Bare Access Trail *would* definitely be worth a look.

The New Balance Minimus v2 looked like a possibility with its bigger lugs but the photos and reviews online ruled that one out due to the terrible tight toebox. I really have no idea what New Balance was thinking with the Minimus v2.

As mentioned in Pre-run Review of the inov-8 Trailroc 150 Minimalist Trail Shoes, there are possibly trail options from Vivobarefoot but no shoe that I have tried from that company has fit me correctly... the low cut around the ankle makes them impossible for me to secure to my foot. I am not sure if the latest models still have this issue but I haven't really even considered Vivobarefoot in recent months.

Above are the shoes that didn't make my list.

Here are my Top Three Robust Trail Shoes for the Minimalist-Minded, 2015 Edition:



Keep reading for more details...


Getting Started with Perl 6

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  • Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 08:07 PM EDT
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The goal of this blog post is to document the steps needed to install and run Rakudo Perl, which is a "useful and usable distribution" of Perl 6 

The #perl6 IRC channel on freenode has been very active the few times I popped in with questions and I was able to get them answered very quickly. Larry Wall announced that he wants to release Perl 6 by Christmas 2015 ( http://http://blogs.perl.org/users/shadowcat_mdk/2015/02/fosdem-2015-its-christmas.html ) and at this point it seems like the Perl 6 community is moving along on its merry way towards that goal.  The Perl 6 design documents are interesting ( http://design.perl6.org/ ), especially the Apocolypse docs which talk about the various aspects compared to Perl 5 and nice tidbits such as "Larry's First Law of Language Redesign."

Perl 6 even has its own logo:

Ubuntu and Debian already contain Perl 6 in their repositories. The 'rakudo' package description on Ubuntu 14.04 is "Perl 6 implementation on top of Parrot virtual machine".  I did not test this but it should be easily installable via:

Review - SKINS A200 Compression Tights

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  • Saturday, February 21 2015 @ 08:37 PM EST
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I usually do at least 1 or 2 runs per week in the morning before the sun comes up. This winter has been on the cold side so I bought a set of SKINS A200 compression tights and shorts (combo pack) from The Clymb at steep discount. As I was taking a picture of the garments, my wife commented "nobody wants to read about your underwear." I generally agree with this statement. However, people *might* wish to read about my experiences with the A200 compression tights.



David Laney advises "wear pants" if the temps are under 50 degrees (http://davidlaneyrunning.com/tag/elite-marathon/) and I tend to follow this advice unless I am racing.

And some days are just meant for purple shorts and a sock monkey hat:



The photo above shows the "shorts over tights" mode of attire, which is either completely appropriate or a fashion faux pas, depending on whom you ask. When making this decision for yourself you should be aware that compression tights are definitely more revealing than standard running tights. Running tights (the kind that tend to come with a pocket in the back for gels and zippers at the bottom by the feet openings) tend to be a little thicker and not quite as revealing in the crotch area. The first time my wife noticed me in my compression tights she laughed and then asked "Did you wear those in public?"

Yes. Yes, I did. But I did try to research the "proper" way to wear them first. Apparently men in tights are offensive to some people. So basically, just dress however you feel comfortable.



Now, to cover the specifics of the A200 Compression tights I will quote from my own training log (a 9 mile run):
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thatlinuxbox.com is the home of Dan Stoner's Personal Blog, Photos, and More (opinions, rants, techno-babble, and possibly a few useful tidbits of knowledge).

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