Monday, May 31, 2010

12 pics for 12 years!

Ms Q and I took 24 hours off and left our children in capable hands and disappeared for the day for our wedding anniversary.

A visit to a chocolatier, wine emporium, some outstandingly delicious food, great entertainment, delightful company and 11 hours sleep in one night ensued!

iPhone photos so sorry for the quality with the exception of the hiking ones!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Working the Workout Lunch…

Well after three months at my new job I am finally starting to feel like I have my head above water! I am sure that’s all about to change as we start a new software development cycle, but I’ll take it for now! As per this post I have been trying to get out for a lunchtime workout; Monday, Wednesday and Friday I run and Tuesday and Thursday use the elliptical machine and do weights. My office is next door to a 24 hour Fitness gym so the commute is minimal and a I get it all done in around an hour or so. This week I almost made it 5:5; a working lunch on Tuesday put the kybosh on that. If you remember this post I have been running on this path, it basically takes you towards the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and I am wondering if it leads to a trail head, the aerial view looks like it might. It’s basically uphill turnaround and downhill back and I’ve been going a little further each time, yesterday I thought I had cracked it but it seems I will need to round a few more bends to find out…the adventure continues!


Friday, May 28, 2010

Review; Ultimate Direction FastDraw Extreme

image It was probably by accident that I became a Ultimate Direction (UD) fan, having seen pictures of folks running with handheld bottles in Trail Runner and UltraRunning magazine and the like they happened to be the brand that was on the shelf when I went shopping for handheld bottles and so I bought them. That was three or so years ago and although I have bought more, the originals are still going strong.

It seems best to break the review down into three sections; the bottle, the sleeve and the Kicker valve.

The Bottle, off the shelf the handheld comes with 20oz (0.6L) bottle. Made from a BPA-free plastic the bottle is made with FDA approved Polyethylene, that is “soft and squeezable, odorless and tasteless”, this I can vouch for. It’s definitely squeezable, this is important as it is fundamentally how you get the liquid in your mouth, its push rather than pull. You can also super size this and replace the 20oz bottle with a 26oz bottle, it might not a huge amount more but when you’re carrying two bottles this is another 12oz and that can make a big imagedifference on a hot day. The downside is the extra weight, 20oz with sleeve is 24oz and the 26oz with sleeve is 30oz that’s nearly 2lbs per hand…ultimately (excuse the pun) it’s a trade off. Onto…

The Sleeve, constructed from Neoprene the sleeve focuses on it’s job; keeping you drink cold and not your hand. It wraps the bulk of the bottle and provides the base of the zipped storage pouch. The pouch is zipped and is large enough for a couple of gels or your keys or a multitude of other things. On the other side is the hand loop. Made of the same neoprene it comes with a cinchable strap that allows you to pull it tight and create the perfect fit Lastly…

The Kicker valve, unique to UD the Kicker valve is an effective delivery method, with a “X” shape opening you bite it to open it and squeeze to drink. Being made of soft rubber you avoid the rough or sharp edges you can find on your usual cycling bottle . The valve is easily closed by flicking or knocking it closed. It’s a simple as that. Made from FDA/NSF approved, medical-grade silicone the mouthpiece is like the bottle and is BPA-free. The valve lid also sports a big ‘ole hook, useful for clipping onto things.

As mentioned I am a fan of the FastDraw Extreme, it’s simple, effective and easy. The valve is easy on the mouth and it allows you to sip or slurp depending on your thirst. Personally I have carried a UD bottle from anything from a 10 to 50 miler without issue.

The are some considerations if you decide to use hand bottles:



  • Pros
  • Ease of use
  • Easy to refill on the fly
  • Access to pouch
  • Can save your hands if you faceplant
  • Cheap way to start
  • Extra hand weight
  • Limited volume
  • Limited storage

As mentioned under Pro’s these are a cheap a Google shopping search locates them for $18-22.00 and available in several colors, black, red, orange and pink. Replacement bottles are available in both sizes as is the actual kicker valve in case you need a spare. WRC carries them and “quad10” at the checkout will get you 10% off. Overall if you’re undecided handhelds could be a cheap and fast way to get started this summer.

This product was purchased. See previous gear reviews in the sidebar on the right. If you have a product you’d like reviewed, contact me at

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Summer Hydration; Intro

So as promised in my last post I will be writing a series of posts that address hydration. It seems the perfect time with summer just round the corner…although I would say we are reveling in the El Nino affect. This time last year we were seeing 90f+ days, whereas we’ll close out May barely having broken 75f. 

So coming up I’ll be looking at not only the how, bit also the what; that is as many types of drinks or mixes I can, so far in the mix, I have Nuun, Cytomax, Hammer, Gatorade, Gu and hopefully a few more, as many as I can procure!

On the how front I have packs, vests, belts and bottles to review including offerings from Ultimate Direction, Salomon, FuelBelt, GelBot and Nathan. Again I’ll be trying to beg, borrow and buy as many as I can and churn out the reviews as frequently as I can before the mercury starts rising.

So stay tuned…oh and if you’re a manufacturer or a retailer and you’ve stumbled on this and fancy helping me out please drop me a line.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Wednesday’s Winners!

Delayed from last weekend I am happy to announce the winners of the two shirts and a hoodie from this post!

The Atayne shirt from the Wilderness Running Company goes to….Bootchez

The Ink-n-Burn shirt goes to….Tran

The Punk Rock Racing hoodie goes to…Lindsay

Email me at quadrathon – at – gmail – dot – com and I’ll do the do in getting your stuff out to you!

Congrats to all the winners and a big thank you to Stacey and Lisa at WRC, Charlie at InB and Ron at PRR…you guys all rock!

Standby for the next giveaway…entry into the Catalina Island Eco Marathon in November, I’ll be posting that on June 1st.

Also coming up a whole series on summer hydration…

Monday, May 24, 2010

10 Minutes, 100 photos and 45 seconds of video…

Loop three Amgen Tour of California, shot from corner of Lindero and Augora.

leaders The leaders…

The Peleton…

…the tail end!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

My dyslexic tri…

I had decided to mix things up a bit on Saturday and dust down my road bike, I’ve not been on it for about 6 months of so, but then my wife suggested I ran Cheeseboro trails, she’d been hiking there on Friday and said it was gorgeous with all the spring flowers…undecided I did what every sensible person would do I posted the question on Twitter:

image To which I got the following responses:

image or the less verbose…


Perfect I thought, and so Friday night I dusted down my steed, got the rubber up to 120psi and dug out my cycling garb. Saturday morning I had no plan but I wanted to get in some rolling hills so I headed out towards the foothills of the Santa Monica’s, I had about 90 minutes to play with and rode a route that I knew to a point, although I had never gone beyond a certain bend and so I followed my nose…a few bends later I saw this:

image Hmm that will be rolling for sure, I toyed with turning around…for a nano second! I gingerly made my way down, this is about halfway…

image And finally I got to more or less the bottom and turned around…

image Ohhh that’s a big hill I thought! I set off. Now remember that bit it about not riding on the roads in probably six months! Well I do ride a triple and boy did I need it, I ground up the hill wondering exactly how slow could I go before I fell over sideways and when should I unclip? The final 300 yards was the worst a big pot hole and no verge edged me out into the middle of the road on a blind corner, I held my breath, metaphorically, physically I was puffing nineteen to the dozen! I nabbed this photo just at the top.

imageI topped out and headed home! Phew! I changed into some runners and more comfortable shorts in fact I was trying out some Piston Compression shorts from Sugoi (review to follow), I don’t think I will win any prizes for my transition. Thirty three minutes and four miles later I was done! A quick Recoverite Strawberry smoothie (Recoverite Powder, Acai juice, FF Frozen Yogurt and frozen Strawberries) and a shower later I was heading off to The Little Gym with our youngest, an hour later I was heading off to the “Big Gym”, to meet my wife and our eldest who was finishing up Karate; divide and conquer is the order of the day at the weekend! Two kids checked into the kids club and I was in the pool. I think this is a candidate for the longest transition evah! Thirty five minutes and 1000 yards later I was done! Oh apart from the 14 laps around Costco that came after lunch! So there was my dyslexic Tri; Bike, Run, Swim!

I finally downloaded all my Garmin data this morning and, well I’ll let the graph from my ride speak for itself…

imageToday I am off to see the finish of the Tour de California…more on that later!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Broadening the horizons…

I have  a pretty long blog list, it runs (no pun intended) the gamut of the endurance sports world from midpackers to elites. It includes many that I am sure you are familiar with, Frayed Laces, ChicRunner and DCRainmaker to name but a few (and if you’re not you should be) but there are also a few that you might be less familiar with and in fact these span the world geographically. So let me introduce you to five blogs you never knew you needed to read!

Just us and a Few Friends: Ian is a fell runner, ultra runner and photographer who documents his jaunts in the English countryside, always with sense of humor and a great eye for the camera!

imageBanff Trail Trash; Leslie is a skier, trail runner, adventure racer and lover of the great outdoors, she travels, races, writes and roams about the mountains in her back yard; Banff!

imageCompetitive Cycling; Groover is a German import into Brisbane Australia, a cyclist since 20o3, she’s climbed the ranks through blood sweat and gears and now races Elite Woman B, follow her if you can!


Tony Western States 2010; Tony lives by and will be racing the Western States Endurance Race this June, follow his training and he takes you to that start line and the finish line!


The Running Fat Guy; Glenn is a relative local, about 100 miles south of me, in the third year of running, he is "just an old guy…trying to get fast, drop weight, and keep it fun!” You can’t say fairer than that!


So there you have it some new reads for you, pretty diverse and definitely global, UK, USA, Canada and Australia!  Take a peek, leave a comment and stick around for the ride!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Off the beaten track…ultra cool shirts!

LVOS 2008 by quadrathon.So if you’ve followed my blog for any time you’ll know that the Sunday or Monday post is usually a write up of my gallivanting from the weekend, usually along with some photos or video. This week I thought I would do something a bit different.

There’s a quintessential look that a trail or ultra runner’s shirt has; capped sleeves often with the name of an “outdoor” brand; Patagonia, Montrail, Sportiva or the ever popular Auburn Running Company. Conversely your typical road running has a look, Asics, Nike, Adidas and the like, often matching top and bottom, with some subtle trimming. I am not looking to stereotype anyone, these are just the facts, check out a copy of Runner’s World or UltraRunning and you’ll see.

So there’s a gap here for some out of the box thinking, allow me to introduce you to some folks that are filling it!

First up Atayne. I first heard about Atayne from Paige’s blog. Occupying unique space Atayne’s shirts are made from recycled plastic bottles! There’s a whole bunch of sciency stuff on their website. Eco friendly their mission is “One with People, One with Planet, and One with Performance.” Essentially the end product is an awesome technical shirt that works, they’re a little bit thicker and a little more fitted than you might be used so and they have a raglan sleeve which is also a little unusual. WRC offers several styles in addition to they’re own logo’d version all of which tie in the outdoors, running and recycling, Atayne have a few more available on their website for cyclists and triatheletes.


Second on the docket is They produce a line of tech shirts that appeal to the more outgoing runner someone who doesn’t mind saying LOOK AT ME and also someone who takes their running seriously but doesn’t take themselves too seriously! Their shirts have; from their website “unique slogans and designs are heat transferred (BURNED) directly into the fabric….graphics add no weight, attract no heat and don't wear off before a shirt is retired”. A traditional cut, their technical shirts work and if you want to get you psych on pre race, they offer many in a cotton versions too. With big graphics, smart designs and a technical shirt that does the job…what’s not to like!

imageLastly and by no means least is PunkRockRacing. If like me you grew up in the 70’s you’ll remember the punk rock thing, now combine that with endurance sports; running, cycling and triathletes…you see what I mean. A brash start up from Northern CA, these fly in the face of convention with some catchy graphics with a big attitude! Their stated manifesto; The Punk Rock Racing revolution is simple: Like-minded people pushing the envelope against gravity today with the understanding that—win, lose or draw—they will be back tomorrow…They’re currently offering a few tech shirts with more promised in June as well as a line of non sports clothing, hoodies, hats and the like! Again a great tech shirt that does exactly what it’s supposed to!wings2

Now with all of you in mind and ‘cos I am brash enough to ask! I managed to get a freebie from each company, I am going to spare you the join this, follow that hoopla, although if you want to they’re all on FaceBook, Twitter and the like. Nope this is a simple draw. One entry per person, state you name and tell me which one you fancy; I have shirts from Atayne via the good folks at Wilderness Running Company and Ink-n-Burn and a Hoodie from PunkRockRacing; it’s a large and is a bit small for me. I draw out names on Saturday.

So there you have it, three alternatives to take you off the beaten track!

Oh and if you like the shirt in the very first photo that’s a one off from my friend here…sorry!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Blast from the past…

P1020450 I was going through some old papers this week and I came across this newspaper clipping from the Sports Pages of the Palisadian Post from July 2006. It’s a local 5/10k race that is held on July 4th every year in Pacific Palisades.

It’s about five months before I got my first Nike+and I made the decision to run my first marathon and about six months before the birth of this blog. It’s also a little over a year after we moved back to California from New York City and I started running again to drop the 50lbs gained in NYC!

And so 500 posts later, this is #501 I have a few more miles under my belt, dropped my 10k PR by 15 minutes or so and gained a few of the 50lbs back, I’m working on that, but the like the clipping says I am Right at Home and the adventure still continues!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Urban trails!

This week is just one of those weeks, I am busy at work (no change there) and my wife is away on business; 5 days, 3 cities and 5000 miles! In an attempt to keep the momentum going I am diving into the local gym at lunchtime, see this post for details. I’ve taken to changing and going for a run around the local area, I can get 3-4 miles in, do some supersets. stretch, grab a shower and a sandwich and be back at my desk in around an hour.


One thing I have discovered is an urban trail, it parallels the local washout canal, predominantly its shingle trail, but there’s no cars, it has some shade, has a great view to the San Gabriels and it’s not the road! I’ll take it!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

If a picture is worth a 1000 words…

Then a video is worth even more…


From today’s run on the Backbone Trail somewhere between Latigo and Corral Canyon. I love the Santa Monica’s there is so much diversity!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Saturday night at the movies…

I caught up on both of these during the week.

The first follows the story of four athletes from diverse backgrounds; two working professional (not professional athletes), a cancer survivor and partially blind runner/tri-athlete, it’s a bit focused on longer distance events; marathon, Ironman etc but the real story is finding the balance, the motivation, over coming obstacles and reaching goals.

The second is a made for TV (by ESPN) movie about Roger Bannister and the four minute mile. It’s  huge story to tell in 90 minutes and there’s a lot of things that are touched on and have no real depth, the rivalry between Bannister and Wes Santee and John Landy being one of them, that being said it does document Bannister’s, unothodox at the time, training methods and captures the mood very well.

Both are available through Netflix and Athlete you can stream direct to your computer or Roku.

Popcorn anyone?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Review; CEP All Sports Compression Sleeves

image A while ago I was contacted by the good folks at CEP socks asking would I be interested in testing their socks and leg sleeves…and of course the answer was yes! I am a big fan of compression clothing, both for recovery and for wearing actually during exercise, I have written several posts reviewing sock and sleeves, more socks and tights.

The benefits are pretty widely accepted so I won’t bore you with the details, so let’s get on with the review. From CEP’s website:

CEP All Sports Compression Sleeves maximize muscle oxygenation and boost energy with CEP's unparalleled scientifically optimized ultimate compression technology for all-day benefits. You’ll run with less effort, increased speed, decreased recovery time, reduced fatigue and optimized performance.

CEP compression sleeves are the first truly functional compression sport sleeve with a patented pressure flow technology that provide a scientifically proven increase in blood circulation and a consequent increase in performance. CEP sleeves provide more oxygen, more energy, an improved metabolization of lactic acid, and faster recovery so you can return to training quicker than ever.

  • Advantages & Features:
  • Pre-exercise - muscle activation and reduction of injury risk
  • During Exercise - optimized performance and stabilization, reduced muscle strain
  • Post-Exercise - quicker and shorter recovery phase
  • CellTex ® Fiber finishing - a new refinement of thread (without chemical additives) facilitates the biological activation of skin cells and provides a comfortable, skin sympathetic and climate- regulating wear.
  • iPS® Integrated power system - a defined compression with scientifically patented pressure profile improves blood circulation and enhances performance.
  • Shin protection
  • Material - 79% Polyamid, 21% Elasthan

CEP are steeped in the compression industry with over 50 years experience with medical compression

imageI have been wearing them for most of my runs, less the trail ones more recently, so they probably have between 60-70 miles on them as such. Out of the box, I had my doubts that they would fit but they are super stretchy and they fit comfortably from my ankle to below my knee. Comfortwise they are very comfortable, not too tight and not too loose, they may sound a bit trite but they are just right, you forget that they are there and that’s the point right! Beyond wearing them for running I have used them for post run recovery and although I am not running huge distances of late, I’ll take all the help I can get in recovery. Additionally, and this pure personal speculation, I think there is some injury prevention that you can probably throw into the mix here as well.

The construction is a one piece knit with a hemmed top and soft rolled bottom. There is a defined ribbing to the front and side and a smoother triangular section to the rear which surrounds your larger of the two calf muscle (Gastroc) and also the Achilles tendon for those of you who have Achilles issues.

TLC requires that you wash them warm, I use, ProWash, you can tumble dry on a them low heat, I am an air dry kinda guy for all my sports clothing.

Overall these are comfortable, effective piece of kit that does exactly what they say they do on the box, as mentioned I am big fan of most things compression but I especially like the sleeves as the main benefit of them is that you can wear them with your favorite socks, although this probably detracts from some of the compression benefits that a sock would give you…stay tuned I am reviewing them next. Oh and if you’re still in doubt CEP socks were the most popular at the Ironman World Championships in Kona in 2009!

Available in six different sizes, you can choose them in either black or white. You can purchase them directly from CEP’s website or multiple outlets online, prices start from $39.00.

This product was provided by CEP. If you have a product you’d like reviewed, contact me at

Monday, May 3, 2010

Does this make my ears look big?

P1020297 So a while ago I posted a competition that RaceVine was holding, post some race reviews and you get entered into a draw and you could win some pretty cool swag including race entries, nutrition products, clothing and the like. Never one to say no to swag, I wrote up three reviews and submitted them, a few weeks later I got an email telling me I had won….woot! I was to be the proud owner of a BondiBand! WTF are Bondibands I thought? Turns out that they are pretty cool head/sweat bands, the problem is is that my noggin is not really suited to these, you need a pretty regular sized head and lots of hair, me, well on a good day I look a bit like a wing nut! Check out Billy, now he can rock a BondiBand!

Anyways. I have eight to give away, so here’s the deal first eight to leave a “I want” comment gets one, first come first served oh and you’ll need to send me a stamped addressed envelope too…that seems only fair!

Ready steady go!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

New trails & ‘tude…

Finally blew away the funk…pity party’s all wrapped up and packed away.

Manic day today; swimming this morning followed by family yoga; which was more about downward facing giggles than dog…seriously yoga with a 2 and 5 year old! Then had an awesome run on a new local trail, here are the highlights!