Trying to qualify for Boston? A mileage vs. speed calculator

Boston Marathon Qualifying Times Chart and Predictor.  An interesting take on calculators:

For me:

• (for 100 miles per week) The slowest you can run and still qualify for the Boston Marathon is 3:10:59.  This is a 7:17 per mile pace.  If you train at 100 miles per week, you need to run a 5 K in 20:20, which is 6:32 per mile pace.
• (for 40 miles per week)  The slowest you can run and still qualify for the Boston Marathon is 3:10:59.  This is a 7:17 per mile pace.  If you train at 40 miles per week, you need to run a 5 K in 19:05, which is 6:08 per mile pace.

Interestingly enough, my peak 12-week training period was about 43 mpw.

Week 7 of the streak and injury analysis #twit2fit

Start of week 7 of the streak

Given the usual madness of holiday weekends, I didn't think the streak would survive this onslaught, but I not only got a run in, I managed to hit my target distance of 6.4 miles.

Challenge #2:  I woke up with a stiff back.  Not a debilitating, keep me from walking, stiff back, but a stiff back and some back pain.  I used several tactics to attempt to work out the pain, and something must have clicked.  By the time of my 8PM run, the stiffness had worked itself out.  It's doing pretty well today.

I'm going for 6.5 miles today and 40 miles for this week.  After this week, I will probably be adjusting the pace of my mileage increase to avoid the injuries I've faced over the last 9 months.

Maybe.

I spent some time analyzing my 6-week and 12-week mileage averages (current week inclusive), compared to both my marathon times and current week's mileage (for injury).

Injuries happened:

• Over 50 miles in a week when 6-week average was 28.5 mpw and 12-week average was 31 mpw (84% and 68% increase).
• Over 60 miles in a week when 6-week average was 44.7 mpw and 12-week average was 39.5 mpw (36% and 54% increase).

Injury did not happen:

• Over 60 miles in a week when 6-week average was 53.2 mpw and 12-week average was 46 mpw (13% and 31% increase).

I believe the answer lies in the average of the weeks 7-12 versus current week.

Marathon results:

• PR (3:39) at 6-week 44.8 mpw, 12-week 46.1 mpw
• Second best (4:30 - at Flying Monkey) 6-week 40.2 mpw, 12-week 31.1 mpw.
• Third best (4:34 - first marathon) 6-week 41.4 mpw, 12-week 39 mpw.
• Worst (4:42 - Hatfield-McCoy and sore leg muscles going into race) 6-week 35.2 mpw, 12-week 40 mpw.

Repaired my first malware infection without obvious clues as to the source

The last few times I've repaired a malware infestation, there have been some obvious clues to the infection source:  loads of "free" games, a couple suspicious browser toolbars, p2p file sharing software with a hefty repository of downloaded content, visits to questionable sites, etc...  This infection had none of the above.

It manifested itself (probably due to a partial clean-up attempt) as Windows errors:

The application or DLL c:windowssystem32dutujahi.dll is not a valid Windows image.  Please check this against your installation diskette.

...tied to winlogin, explorer, lsass, etc..  It appears that the PC was infected with the Vundo trojan or Virtumonde.  Of course, this infection hid itself from (or in?) Windows Explorer and was pretty good at replicating itself to evade capture.

Fortunately, I stumbled upon ComboFix at BleepingComputer.com.  I disabled System Restore temporarily, and allowed ComboFix to begin working.

The process took about 2 hours from start to finish, and in the process, Windows Recovery Console was installed.  Oddly enough, I noticed that there was no anti-virus software installed at all, and the copy of SpySweeper on the PC had been allowed to expire.

I replaced SpySweeper with Windows Defender and installed AntiVir free edtion.  When I ran Windows Defender after the ComboFix cleanup, it was able to find a couple of the orphaned copies of the Vundo trojan dlls in system32.

After the first couple steps of running ComboFix, the system no longer persistently popped the "bad image" errors, and the system appears to be running smoothly now.

Is this really an Explorer issue?

Okay, I get annoyed with Windows' design on a regular basis, but I don't know that defaulting to showing file extensions for known file types is the right answer.

I guess the real problem is that Windows 7, like every other Microsoft-designed Operating System, relies on the extension to determine filetype/action, including whether to attempt to execute the code in the file or not.  Until the GUI file managers appeared in the *nix OSes, this was a limitation of *nix--if a file was not explicitly executable for the user, an error would be returned.

Today, Nautilus and Konqueror have mimetypes registered in their file managers, just like web browsers do.  However, they still rely on the "execute" permission bit being set on a file--which is not default behavior on a downloaded file (rusty Linux brain cells showing).  To execute the file, one of two things have to happen:  You either have to set execute permissions on the file or run the file as root/sudo/admin user.  Of course, execute permissions can still be stored in an archive file (.tar, .bz2, .zip), so an executable file can still appear on your system without you knowingly setting it to execute.

Back to Windows...  The default behavior of "Hide extensions for known file types" is user friendly for users who don't want to know the legacy of file extensions and their uses.  However, in the absence of a useful non-administrative mode and explicit execute permissions, this opens the door for some really simple ways to dupe the user.  Fixing this problem goes beyond not hiding extensions or showing annoying "Are you sure you want to do this?" pop-ups.

Day 38 of the streak #twit2fit

I've run 27 miles in 5 days, and today's run truly felt like miles 23 - Finish of a marathon that I had not properly prepared for.  I guess part of the lesson here is that I've run most of the last week too fast.

3.25 miles in 31:57 (9:50 / mile).  This should have been a recovery run, but I looked down at my GPS.  Otherwise, I probably would have been lucky to stay below 11 minute miles.

The rampant dismissing of social media

(This was inspired by Jason Fall's post on the Sustainability of Social Media)

What's lost in the dismissing of social media as a fad is the fact that social media is simply an extension, through technology, of what has been around for ages. Determined people have always found a way to connect with others with similar challenges or interests. How long have networking groups and professional societies been around? What about Alcoholics Anonymous or other support groups? The geeks among us have been discussing things on BBS discussion boards pretty much since the modem was invented. On the web, those discussion boards made their way to hobby sites and company sites via phpBB and uBB.

What has changed? Two things:

Technology has drastically lower the barrier to entry for joining one of these groups. You no longer have to configure the modem with the right ATDT string, or walk as a green-faced introvert into a room of people who already know each other. "Following" someone or "friending" someone is so much easier, and less painful. (Even the pain of rejection is significantly lower.)

Secondly, social media has pulled connection groups out of a taxonomic hierarchy and into folksonomy.

Wha?

Think Dewey Decimal or Library of Congress system for cataloguing information. Some "higher authority" decided how information should be organized--a taxonomy. By contrast, everyone's favorite pages on their personal web pages and blogs define the keywords that feed into the page ranking algorithm on Google. Ordinary people create the classification system, and if nothing currently fits, they create another classification system--that's more or less a "folksonomy".

Back to social media. What happens if no one is talking about your favorite topic? You create your own (possibly duplicate) group on Facebook, your own hashtag on Twitter, your own blog, or your own discussion board. Our associations no longer belong to the bureaucracy of "significance". If one person is interested, it's significant. You can now associate yourself with all fans of "Nuts the Squirrel" if you want to.

Iroquois Park Loop run #twit2fit

Today, I ran from my parent's house to around the Iroquois Loop (used for Papa John's 10 miler and the Derby Festival mini and marathon) and back.  The first hill coming from Southern Pkwy was a little bit challenging for me, but I had a nice stride on the remaining hils.  Of course, coming out of the park I took the benefit of the downhill for I all I could get out of it--very stupid. Notice the spike on the downhill:

Distance: 6.06 miles
Duration: 55:16.77
Pace: 9:08 / mile

Map:

Mile 3.5 smells like nuoc mam, mile 4 like jasmine #twit2fit

Among the smells that fill the air in late spring, some are less pleasant than others.  There must have been some magical combination of garbage day, warm weather, and fresh rain, which made the air smell like fish sauce.  Not just any fish sauce, either.  My heritage has acclimated me to some fish sauces, and Thai "nam pla" is very mild in scent.  No, this smell was even a step beyond the Filipino "patis" that I grew up smelling.  I would even go out on a limb to say that it was gourmet Vietnamese "nuoc mam".

About a half mile later, the bouquet was rounded off by the smell of jasmine.  Finally, a mile from the end of my run, the exhaust from Chili's and Culver's filled the air.  Odd mix of smells, indeed.

5.77 miles in 0:55:09

Elevation:  Elevation: +946.2 ft / -957.2 ft / net: -11 ft