Fiona, the Python library for reading and write geospatial
vector data that is used by GeoPandas, has a new 1.8.5 release with significant bug
fixes and performance improvements. See the change log for
details and pip install -U fiona to upgrade.
Another reason to upgrade is that the wheels on PyPI now include GDAL 2.4.0,
a version with many core and format driver improvements, including support for
GeoJSON feature sequences and WebP compression in GeoTIFFs.
The last week was challenging. I reached a new personal mileage record, ran
9 consecutive days (ending Wednesday), finished the Run Through Time trail
marathon on Salida's Arkansas Hills Tail System on Saturday,
and then went out for another long run on Sunday.
12 hours 45 minutes
6430 feet D+
The weird thing is that I'm feeling good and not at all worn out or burned out.
I guess my training regime must be working. Next week is a recovery week. I'm
going to do much less running and more cycling, yoga, and hiking with my kids
on the weekend.
Friday I drove 200 miles from Fort Collins to the town of Salida in the center
of Colorado to participate in the Chaffee County Running Club's Run Through
Time trail marathon.
In the 1990s I used to come to this part of Colorado regularly for hiking and
skiing in the Sawatch Range, but it's been a while since I've visited Salida.
The race day weather was fine. Cool and sunny with just a bit of a breeze.
I wore my windbreaker, hat, and gloves at the start and for about half a mile
of the course, then stashed them in my pack for the remainder.
My performance expectations were low. The race was coming at the end of what
were, for me, three big weeks of training. I didn't feel tired, but I didn't
feel very fresh. After the start I drifted towards the back of the pack while
trying to find a suitable pace. After a few miles I settled in and started to feel
comfortable on the winding, rolling singletrack at the bottom of the course. At
mile 7, the course turned onto a steep graded road for six miles. I hiked most of
this and passed a number of runners. I've been working on hiking quickly and
efficiently and was satisfied with how I did during the race.
At the top, the course switched onto completely snow-covered trails for about
six miles. The snow was deeply drifted in places and the footing was poor.
I took this slowly, got passed three times, and conceded a bunch of time.
As the snow clear, the descent turned very steep and rocky for five miles.
I managed this well, but my legs were feeling heavy in the last two miles and
I conceded more time. I finished in 5 hours and 33 minutes, two hours after the
first finisher. I'm pleased with this. That's 15 minutes faster than my 2017
Blue Sky marathon time, on a comparably challenging course, without any
tapering or rest before the race. I'm also pleased that I was able to recover
and go for another long run on the Coyote Ridge and Blue Sky trails on the way
home from Salida. 37 miles in all for the weekend. I'm feeling more confident
about finishing the Quad Rock 50 in May.
The CSU weather station, a few blocks from my house, reported a low temperature
of -21.8 °C (-7.3 °F) at 6:20 this morning. It was 11 °C inside my house. The
furnace had not started because its humidifier's exhaust tube had a small ice plug.
Ruth unblocked it using a hair dryer. We're lucky that this kind of cold only
comes around once a year. I'm going to wait until the air temperature gets
close to -10 °C before I go running today.
A lot of snow had fallen by the time I got to Lory State Park on Saturday
morning and it continued to snow steadily if not with intensity. I cut my
planned run short because the going was so slow and I wasn't prepared for 7 or
8 hours out in the snow without skis or company. I went south in the valley, up
Sawmill and Towers, down snowy and icy Mill Canyon, and back. 3 hours to go
just under 12 miles. I could have skied some stretches of Mill Canyon Trail and
did slide and fall once on my butt and elbow on the ice near the bottom.
I didn't feel like running in deep snow today and did an easy 13.5 mile loop on the
paved and mostly cleared rec trails of SW Fort Collins. I fell 5 miles short of
my goal for the week, but did have solid runs during the week and made the most
of poor weekend weather. I'm looking forward to nicer weather next Saturday at
my first race of 2019: Chaffee County Running Club's Run Through Time in
A. Jesse Jiryu Davis spoke at PyTennessee about finding opportunity and
adventure as an older programmer in a youth-obsessed industry and a workforce
that skews young. See the video at
https://emptysqua.re/blog/choosing-the-adventurous-route-video/. I think it's
very good. I shared it at work and my fellow oldsters agreed.
It's March, at last, and the Vernal Equinox is only 20 days away. I ran 5 miles
in shorts at an easy pace this afternoon. Tomorrow, if there's not too much
snow, I'm going to try to run the 25 mile Quad Rock course with some other local trail
runners. I may bring my cross country ski gear as part of a backup plan.
I would be disappointed to miss my mileage target for the week (60), but it
wouldn't be the end of the world. A chance to practice resiliency, even.
In February, I ran 192 miles, just under 7 miles a day on average. In 2.5 months
of training for my first half marathon I ran 215 miles. I've come
a long way!
Real-time chat systems make everyone feel productive (it’s fun to have
a face-paced technical conversation with colleagues), but do relatively
little for long-term community consensus building, particularly when the
users and developers of a project span a variety of institutions and a long
range of time.
I created two discussion groups for Rasterio on groups.io because I don't want
real-time support chat to suck up all the community's oxygen and because the
community's collective wisdom is more powerful when it is searchable. I also
don't do live support for my projects on any Slack other than Mapbox's.
Rasterio can now read and write signed 8-bit integer ("int8") datasets. I don't
see these at work, but some people do, and one of them, Kirill Kouzoubov, sent
the pull request to make it happen.
Tapping into the same latent GDAL library feature that makes int8 support
possible, we've added an out_dtype
parameter to the read() method of dataset objects. Data can now be cast to
different types on the fly, making code like
dataset.read().astype("float32") obsolete. Now, you would do
dataset.read(out_dtype="float32") instead and enjoy reduced memory
Kirill, again, showed us exactly how to nail the use case of unsigned requests
for public datasets on AWS (like the Landsat 8 PDS) which don't require help from boto3.
Lastly, we've added a linear_units property to the CRS class so that users
can get the units of a reference system. For example:
Trail running isn't about the gear, but I find it useful and safer to have some
gear, especially in winter when I'm miles from shelter, water, or transportation.
I've put 3 miles short of 200 on the Hoka ONE ONE Speedgoat 3 and am
pleased with how they are holding up. The uppers are like new with the
exception of matching worn spots above the top inner eyelets. Evidently I clip
the top of each shoe with the sole of the other when I run. My telemark boots
are even more beat up on the inside than my running shoes, which suggests to me
that I could pick my feet up a little more on trail. Maybe?
The lugs on the bottom are showing some wear. I expect them to go long
before the uppers do, which seems normal for the trails I'm running this
winter. I was out on snow and ice last weekend and the shoes still have plenty
of grip. I've been able to keep up with folks wearing lightweight crampons.
I overstride and I see this in my bottom of my shoes. My heel lugs are slightly
more worn than my forefoot lugs. But not by much. I've been working to increase
my cadence and am slowly improving.
I expect to use these shoes up before Quad Rock and will get another pair
for the race. I like them a lot. A little more toe room would be nice. 8/10.
I'm happy with my Smartwool "PhD" cold weather wool and nylon socks. My feet
are comfy and don't blister, and the toe fabric has no signs of holes yet.
9/10. I carry a second pair
of socks in my pack on long runs, but haven't had to use them yet. I don't have
blisters, but do have black and blue toenails that I've had to tape down.
I found the toe taping instructions in the Trail Runners Companion to be very
helpful. Intervention can snowball, of course, and use of tape then requires
lubrication. Squirrel's Nut Butter, which I've been getting as swag for years,
turns out to be good for this. 9/10, a little grainy when cold.
Compression shorts and tights are off my gear list now. Capilene boxer briefs
from REI (10/10) and SNB are my recipe for comfort. I like warm legs, and my Patagonia
Crosstrek fleece tights would be perfect if they were 1" longer. 9/10. I usually wear a 150 or 250
weight wool top (7/10) and carry a light nylon windbreaker from Patagonia that I love but almost never wear. 9/10.
I also keep a basic capilene cap and gloves from REI (6/10) in reserve, in case I get caught out in
changing weather. Mostly, I don't need them when I'm on the move in daylight.
The vest I plan to wear during the Quad Rock to hold water, spare socks, and
such is too small for long, self-supported, training runs. I've been using my
bigger, heavier Camelbak. I take 2+ litres of water, a nutella sandwich, gels,
a mini first aid and toilet kit, jacket, gloves, hat, extra socks, and my phone
when I go out for 4-5 hours. My minimal vest is Camelbak's Ultra Pro (from
2017). It's breathable, fits me well (I am big but not a bodybuilder, so YMMV),
and is well made. It's completely fine. I read that some people like to attach
straws to their soft flasks, but I've become adept at slipping them out of and
back into their pouches. Camelbak should make a Colorado edition with
a frightful demon face printed on the back to ward off mountain lions. 11/10
with demon, 8/10 without.
Speaking of gels, GU brand Campfire S'Mores and Gingerade are the least
terrible flavors and I carry 3-4 on a long run in case my breakfast and
sandwich aren't enough. 6/10. There will be VFuel at Quad Rock and I should start
getting used to that unless I want to carry my own fuel for 50 miles.
I mentioned previously that I've been wearing a Garmin Forerunner 35 since
Christmas. It's not fancy at all, but is reasonably comfortable, and the
battery life is good. The GPS is reliable, only flaking out on me one time in
50 runs. The heart rate monitor is less reliable. It has gone out of whack
during one workout and briefly during 3 long runs. I don't know whether this is
good, fair, or poor compared to other similar devices. 6/10 or 8/10 depending
whether I'm feeling sentimental about 80s watches or not. The Garmin Connect
app is fine. Better than many other apps on my phone. 8/10.
Coppertone Ultra Guard 50 sunscreen (7/10), trucker hat (8/10), Thermos vacuum mug of
third wave coffee (10/10) for the drive to the trailhead... that's it, my
current list of equipment, rated.
The first week of the second half of my winter/spring running season is done.
10 hours and 52 minutes
6762 feet D+
My biggest weekly mileage yet! I get to write this almost every week now and
find it quite fun to do so. This is not my biggest week measured by time spent
on my feet because my long runs were shorter than two weeks ago and I had two
longish workouts and a longish steady run. Friday morning my workout centered
on 3 7-9 minute intervals of power hiking on the Towers Road in Horsetooth Open Space followed
by 5 shorter intervals of hard running on a segment of the Towers Road known to
Strava users as Ax Murderer. 15%
grade for a quarter mile. The Towers Road has two equally steep ramps near the
top. I'm a slow runner, but a relatively fast and strong hiker. On group
outings, I tend to slip off the back on the flats and downhills and catch up on
the steeper climbs. Hiking is a big part of my plan for finishing the Quad Rock
and I'm trying to practice and improve at it. Running hard uphill in a workout
is something I'm doing purely to build endurance and power, I won't be
sprinting or bounding uphill during the race.
I'm trying to follow advice of more experienced runners like Sarah Lavender
Smith, author of the Trail Runners Companion, which is to make the hard days
harder and the easy days easier. The weather is helping by sucking on workout
days and being beautiful on long run days.