Vakava Team Photo

Vakava Team Photo
Vakava Racers at the Mora Last Chance Race

Saturday, August 8, 2009

First Post

Hi all,

I'm new to the group, and since I have to be out of state this summer (unfortunately), I thought I should post something so I'm not totally forgotten so soon after I met most of you...

Summer has been's a summary: I was married on May 23rd in Minneapolis, and then left for 10 days in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. Less than a week after I returned to Minneapolis, I left for 10 days in Japan. I presented a paper at a circuit design conference, but figured as long as I'd be half way around the world, I really had to spend some time touring. Less than a week after I got back from Japan, I moved to Austin, TX for a few months to do another internship with IBM Research. I'm about ready to finish my PhD in CMOS circuit design at the U of MN, but it's not a great time to be looking for jobs, so I'm kind of waiting out the worst part of the recession before finishing up. Therefore, coming back to Austin (for my 3rd stint here) provided me with a chance to get some more experience and earn a decent paycheck for awhile.

The summer in Austin is always a killer, but this summer has been one of their worst ever. The high temp has been over 100 almost every day since I arrived at the end of June. And, no, it's NOT a dry heat. So although the temps "cool down" to a little under 80F in the early morning, the humidity is usually ~80%. There is no choice but to deal with this if you want to run or rollerski outdoors, so we just get used to it and accept that paces won't be quite as fast.

Although some weekend traveling has interrupted my training schedule a couple times, here is a normal week for me now:

M: 11-12 mile run, lift
Tu: 11-12 mile run with 30 min tempo (~5:30 pace), lift

W: 1:10-1:20 rollerski

Th: 10 mile run with speed work (track or fartlek), lift

F: 11-13 mile run, lift

Sa: 15+ mile run

Su: long-ish rollerski (hope to be getting this to 2.5+ hours soon)

Hope you are all enjoying the cool weather up north!


ps. here are some pics from my travels:

The new wife (Sarah) and I in Mexico.

Sensōji Temple in Asakusa. It's a Buddhist temple, and Tokyo's oldest. In this picture you actually see the Kaminarimon, or “Thunder Gate". The temple is behind that.


  1. Hey John, good to hear an update. Looks like you you are staying fit! Getting some wierd looks rollerskiing in Texas? :) We're looking forward to skiing with you when you get back.

  2. Don't worry, we haven't forgotten you. We'll save a spot for you for our Afton roller skis.

  3. People look at me pretty funny when I rollerski here. Someone finally spoke up today and said, "You don't see those every day." However, Austin is a very fit town, much like Minneapolis, so they're used to seeing lots of runners, cyclists, roller bladers, wet-suited swimmers, etc... If I were doing this almost anywhere else in TX I might be in a little trouble with some of the locals!