Training update: dispatches from the long run

Yesterday, I completed the last long run of my training for the NYC Marathon. I brought my phone in an armband (that I bought a week ago) to test how well it travels with me.

The first hour was just pouring rain; I don’t how well I’d fare for four hours of it. But it mostly stopped by the time I entered Pacific Spirit Park. The first picture was on the trail after mile 7;  the second is not even 15 minutes later. It made the rest of the run much more pleasant!

Imperial Trail in Pacific Spirit Regional Park

Imperial Trail, around mile 7

Salish Trail in Pacific Spirit Regional Park

Salish Trail, between miles 8 and 9.

Selfie on Salish Trail, Pacific Spirit Regional Park

Selfie on Salish Trail

Maybe it was all the breaks I was taking for photos, or to consume gels & water, but I survived the almost four-hour run, completing 21 miles (33.9 km). My pacing was consistent, and even on the five separate miles I sped up, my legs were up to the challenge. I just have to be just as consistent with pacing and fueling, and I think I’ll do well for the big race. I just have to endure three weeks of agonizing taper!

Kitsilano Beach, Vancouver, taken 11 October 2014

Kitsilano Beach, about mile 14.5

Project 366 is two-thirds complete!

As of today, I’ve gone through eight months and 250 photos in my photo-a-day-for-one-year project. I’ve somehow managed to keep track of the photo number as I post them, only because I double-check before posting them. Here are a few highlights from June:

Pedestrian bridge at Vancouver's Olympic Village

P366:219 – Pedestrian bridge at Vancouver’s Olympic Village

P366:224 – Five o’clock shadow

Signage indicating the new Vancouver bike route, the North Arm Trail.

P366:239 – North Arm Trail

RIP, Cookie: In memoriam to our family cat

Our family said goodbye to our cat, Cookie, today. Here are a few photos. We will miss you; rest in peace.

Our family cat, Cookie

Taken yesterday; a really light-hearted image in what has been a difficult few days.

Our family cat, Cookie

Without the glasses, in a typical lounging pose.

Our family cat, Cookie

December 2010

Our family cat, Cookie, in profile view

In profile, from 2006

Our family cat, Cookie

Cookie the caddie

Project 366 update: February favourites

No post ideas have popped up this weekend, so I’ll put up a couple of photos that I took during February for my photo-a-day-for-a-year project. There wasn’t a theme, but I did put the photos through instagram’s filters before posting them.

The first one was taken February 10. I like how one particular filter created a bluish glow surrounding the neon cross. The second one was taken February 20. I got the shutter to go off as the train was moving, but before it left the station, creating the blur effect. You can see all the photos I’ve taken during February here, and a set of sets (arranged by month) here. I’m officially one-third of the way done!

Photo #102 in my Project 366

P366:102 - Blue

Photo #112 in my project 366. It portrays a SkyTrain leaving Sea Island Centre Station heading toward YVR-Airport.

P366:112 - Train to YVR

A photo a day for one year – challenge well underway!

Shoegaze: arrow #2, photo #87 in my ongoing 366 Project

P366:087 - Shoegaze: arrow #2

After I’ve immersed myself in the project for three months, I’ve officially taken on the challenge of taking a photo a day for one full year, retroactive to November 1, 2011. As you may (or may not) know, I’ve documented here (and on my flickr) my successful attempt to take a photo a day for one month; I’ve done so the past two Novembers. When I removed my Movember mustache on December 1, and took a photo of that, I made a conscious attempt to do the same for December, and again for January, but using different themes. As I finished that, I decided to make my 366 project active by applying appropriate titles and tags to the photos I’ve posted to flickr to that point [collection], while trying to remember the specific day I’m in when I post a new photo.

As I post photo #96 below, I want to congratulate my brother for finishing his second round of a 365 project [set]. His proficiency with the craft is part of the reason why I want to undertake this project. Wish me luck!

Photo #96/366 in my project - taken at Main Street SkyTrain Station

P366:096 - Main Street Station

End of Movember

Self-portrait taken on the 30th day of Movember

Movember day 30

I think my Movember went well. The main mo did go unchecked for the full month (as it should be). I had the handlebar for the middle part of November, then tried to extend the ‘stache outward, but ran out of time; you can see how it looked on the last day.

The morning of December 1, the razor did its work; the result is the picture below. For the first couple of days I’ve looked at a mirror and actually wondered who was the person with the bare upper lip staring at me. Really, it’s bizarre how a mustache can alter a man’s look.

Thanks to all the kind words about the mo, and more so to those who donated to Movember generally, and through my page in particular. It will be back next year, so be ready!

Link to a flickr set of self-portrait photos from each day of Movember.

Self-portrait, taken the first day after Movember

No mo' mo!

A photo a day during Movember; could I keep it up after that?

Movember day 14: commute

Movember day 14: commute

Almost halfway through Movember, and the mo is progressing quite well. I took one photo at the start, then one the next day, and soon I figured I should do a photo a month for each day of Movember. It carries on from my successful attempt to take a photo a day last November. The major difference between then and now is that I’m using my iPhone, together with the Instagram app, as opposed to the digital camera I used last year. It’s far easier to take a shot with the phone, put it through Instagram’s filters, and have it cross-post to my Flickr and Twitter. With the digital camera (which is almost five years old), I have to attach the camera to my computer to download the pictures, then upload it to Flickr. Plus, the Movember theme is a lot easier to execute, compared to the randomness from last year.

I’m wondering if I can carry on with a photo a day after the end of Movember. 60 days? 100 days? 366 (2012 is a leap year)? Should I not think about it, but keep taking shots anyway? For anyone who has done these longer projects, what is your motivation? I’d appreciate any tips and/or themes!

I have a winning photo. Go figure.

(A follow-up to “Photo Marathon? Yes it was.“)

If there were a complete opposite to a shameless promoter, I would be that person. But better late than never, I suppose.

From 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon:

60 marathoners registered for the third annual 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon and all 60 handed in their 12exp 35mm rolls by 10pm on Saturday August 6th, 2011. From the 720 photos that we had developed, our judges selected winners for Best Series and Best Photo, along with Runner-Ups for both categories, and 1 winner for each of the 12 themes. Here are the results that were revealed at Raw Talent 2011 on Sunday September 25th:


Theme 10 (Second Chance): #11 Eric Bucad

Winning photo for theme 10 of 2011 12x12 Vancouver (Second Chance)

All 12 of my photos are displayed here. Below is a video that I took in which “super-judge” Dan Jackson explains why my photo was chosen. And Dan has put up a tumblr post that gives his rationale for all the selections.

This and all the other winning photos (also by theme) are now on display at the Lookout at Harbour Centre! So at least the tourists have something to look at when there’s nothing of Vancouver to see, thanks to the fall weather. The exhibition will be there until December 2.

Anyone interested in going to the Lookout to see the photos?

(Photo by Eric Bucad, posted by flickr user vancouverphotomarathon.)

[Updated 10/19/2011, 22:19 PDT to include the video.]
[Updated 10/21/2011, 12:50 PDT to include Dan’s post.]

Photo marathon? Yes it was.

My "bib" for the photo marathon

This past weekend, I participated in the 3rd annual Vancouver Photo Marathon. Its 12×12 logo means that participants receive a 12-exposure roll of film at the start. Each hour for the next 12 hours, a theme is revealed, and participants have to use a single shot from that roll that represents that theme. There’s no real time limit to complete a single shot, but the completed roll of film has to be handed in by the time the 12 hours have elapsed.

12 hours, 12 themes, 12 exposures

As a runner, the use of the word “marathon” in the event name seems fitting, and that was my mindset throughout the day. The mental aspect of finding an appropriate photo is compounded with the physical in terms of all the walking I did (14 kilometres is a reasonable estimate). There were “water stops” when I had to return to home base in the West End to retrieve the newest theme. Given all the walking I did, the need to stay hydrated and fed was essential (especially on such a warm day).

And like in an actual marathon, I encountered an equivalent to a “wall” in the late afternoon, when I fell a theme behind amid flagging energy. A quick dinner before the 11th theme was revealed gave me a boost; the disappearing sunlight gave me more reason to get one more decent shot. The last shot was a bit fortuitous in that I didn’t have to go far, and took it within 20 minutes of the theme being revealed. That could be compared to the final sprint at the end of a race.

I think that finish made it a great experience overall; there is a certain level of endurance required to complete this marathon, not to mention the ability to think on the fly when finding a photo for the theme. It certainly invigorated my interest in photography; I’m already looking at a local project that will soon be accepting submissions. For now, I’m just hoping the prints come out OK. All the participants’ photos will be displayed on September 25. That should be fun!

(Speaking of running, the time has come to start training for real. As I mentioned last week, I am aiming to run in the Fall Classic. I’ve given myself 15 weeks, which should be enough time.)

2010 Olympics: one year later, in photos

One year ago today, Vancouver welcomed the world as the 2010 Winter Olympics began. On February 12, 2010, I took the day off from work. By sheer coincidence, an appointment at the bank happened to be on the route of the final day of the torch relay. I took a few photos, some of which I’ve posted on my Flickr:

Torchbearer 079, 12 February 2010

Torch Relay

I did my bank appointment soon after the relay passed through, but I hustled down the street afterward to see it again; this was taken about 90 minutes and 24 torchbearers later:

Torchbearer #103

A few days later, I headed to work a little early to catch a glimpse of the lit cauldron; this might be the best shot I took. If you recall, the emptiness sort of belies the fact that I took the picture from behind a fence, but it’s interesting all the same.

Olympic cauldron, 18 February 2010