LBC Fourth of July Half Marathon

Los Angeles Marathon 2016

There is 25 weeks and approximately 180 days left for the L.A. Marathon and I’ve been battling myself on whether to commit on running it or not. So I decided to just do it.
I’ll be running the L.A. Marathon.


Now, it’s easier said that done not a big deal. Also, why would anybody care, right? Nobody cares what I’m up to, except probably only my momma. 🙂

I’m posting my running goals and will be blogging about my training for the next 25 weeks hoping to inspire anybody who reads them. Simple as that. The last time I did it, I was able to connect with a few awesome people who I still keep in contact and have learned a lot from. It also gives me the opportunity to practice my writing and keep a log.

Okay, so lets get to it — lets structure a plan to kill this project.

Objective: Run the Los Angeles Marathon(LAM) 2016 under 4 hours at 160 lbs with less than 15% body fat.


Running a marathon under four hours means that I need to keep a 9 min. and 9 sec. pace for all 26.2 miles. Last time I ran it in 2013 I kept a 8min per-mile pace and that took a lot of serious training and great amount of running that I did not enjoy as much. This time, I’m looking to having more fun and enjoying the runs. This doesn’t mean I’ll be half-assing the training, it just means that I will focus on enjoying the journey more.


Okay, since my focus is to run at a 9:09 mins. per mile pace, I’ll make that pace my goal for the Rock And Roll: LA Half Marathon(RR:LA HM) I signed up for at the end of October. That means I have about 10 weeks to train to finish the half marathon under 2 hours or less.


Additionally, I’m also aiming to be 15 pounds lighter and under 15% body fat for the LAM 2016. This means that I need to lose half a pound and shed 0.2% of fat every week. By the end of October I need to be at 171.5 lbs with 1.8% of less body fat.


Let me re-write, or re-type, the list of goals that I want to accomplish overall by tackling this project:


  1. Run the Los Angeles Marathon under 4 hours at 9:09 min. a mile.
    1. Run the Rock & Roll: L.A. Half Marathon under 2 hours at 9:09 min. a mile.
  2. Be 15 lbs. lighter for LAM or at 160 pounds.
    1. Be 4.5 lbs. lighter for R&R: LA HM or at 171.5 pounds.
  3. Reduce overall body fat under 15%
    1. Have 1.8% of less body fat by R&R: LA HM.

These are the three main objectives that I’ll be focusing on and this is the plan I developed and will be following for the first 10 weeks. I will put together the rest of the plan as I go on with the project and see the results of the R&R: LA HM.

Feel free to analyze it and give me feed back.


Week: Day: Date: Day of week: Workout: Mileage:
1 Focus Group: Back and Biceps
1 8/23/2015 Sunday Back and biceps 0
2 8/24/2015 Monday Cardio (HIIT) and abs 3.1
3 8/25/2015 Tuesday Shoulders and triceps 3.1
4 8/26/2015 Wednesday Legs, calves and biceps 2
5 8/27/2015 Thursday Rest Day 0
6 8/28/2015 Friday Chest and triceps 0
7 8/29/2015 Saturday Back and biceps 5
2 Focus Group: Shoulders 13.2
8 8/30/2015 Sunday Shoulders, traps and triceps 3.1
9 8/31/2015 Monday Cardio (HIIT) and abs 2
10 9/1/2015 Tuesday Legs, calves and biceps 2
11 9/2/2015 Wednesday Chest and triceps 0
12 9/3/2015 Thursday Rest Day 0
13 9/4/2015 Friday Back and biceps 3.1
14 9/5/2015 Saturday Shoulders, traps and triceps 5
3 Focus Group: Legs, 15.2
15 9/6/2015 Sunday Legs, calves and biceps 2
16 9/7/2015 Monday Shoulders and triceps 0
17 9/8/2015 Tuesday Cardio (light) and abs 0
18 9/9/2015 Wednesday Back and biceps 2
19 9/10/2015 Thursday Chest and triceps 3.1
20 9/11/2015 Friday Cardio and abs 3.1
21 9/12/2015 Saturday Legs, calves and biceps 2
4 Focus Group: Chest and Triceps 12.2
22 9/13/2015 Sunday Chest and triceps 0
23 9/14/2015 Monday Rest Day 0
24 9/15/2015 Tuesday Back and biceps 2
25 9/16/2015 Wednesday Cardio (HIIT) and abs 5
26 9/17/2015 Thursday Shoulders and triceps 3.1
27 9/18/2015 Friday Legs, calves and biceps 2
28 9/19/2015 Saturday Chest and triceps 0
5 Focus Group: Back and Biceps 12.1
28 9/20/2015 Sunday Back and biceps 0
29 9/21/2015 Monday Cardio (HIIT) and abs 5
30 9/22/2015 Tuesday Shoulders and triceps 3.1
31 9/23/2015 Wednesday Legs, calves and biceps 2
32 9/24/2015 Thursday Rest Day 0
33 9/25/2015 Friday Chest and triceps 0
34 9/26/2015 Saturday Back and biceps 8
6 Focus Group: Shoulders 18.1
35 9/27/2015 Sunday Shoulders, traps and triceps 8
36 9/28/2015 Monday Cardio (HIIT) and abs 5
37 9/29/2015 Tuesday Legs, calves and biceps 2
38 9/30/2015 Wednesday Chest and triceps 0
39 10/1/2015 Thursday Rest Day 0
40 10/2/2015 Friday Back and biceps 3.1
41 10/3/2015 Saturday Shoulders, traps and triceps 8
7 Focus Group: Legs 26.1
42 10/4/2015 Sunday Legs, calves and biceps 5
43 10/5/2015 Monday Shoulders and triceps 0
44 10/6/2015 Tuesday Cardio (light) and abs 0
45 10/7/2015 Wednesday Back and biceps 3.1
46 10/8/2015 Thursday Chest and triceps 3.1
47 10/9/2015 Friday Cardio and abs 8
48 10/10/2015 Saturday Legs, calves and biceps 3.1
8 Focus Group: Chest and Triceps 22.3
49 10/11/2015 Sunday Chest and triceps 0
50 10/12/2015 Monday Rest Day 0
51 10/13/2015 Tuesday Back and biceps 3.1
52 10/14/2015 Wednesday Cardio (HIIT) and abs 5
53 10/15/2015 Thursday Shoulders and triceps
54 10/16/2015 Friday Legs, calves and biceps 8
55 10/17/2015 Saturday Chest and triceps 0
9 Focus Group: Back and Biceps 16.1
56 10/18/2015 Sunday Back and biceps 0
57 10/19/2015 Monday Cardio (HIIT) and abs 6.2
58 10/20/2015 Tuesday Shoulders and triceps 3.1
59 10/21/2015 Wednesday Legs, calves and biceps 2
60 10/22/2015 Thursday Rest Day 0
61 10/23/2015 Friday Chest and triceps 0
62 10/24/2015 Saturday Back and biceps 0


Note: This is only my training schedule. I will also be following a diet plan. I will share it once I have it a little more structured.


LBC Fourth of July Half Marathon



I’m a few days late but on this post I want to talk a little about cookies —  I’m not talking about the Chip Ahoy type of cookies but the web browser aka Internet cookies.
Internet cookies are a small piece of information that are sent from a client (your web browser) to a web server while you are browsing a site. Ordinarily, most website do not have any memory of who comes and goes. Logs of traffic on the site are usually kept but these are not really involved here. What happen is that usually after your browser downloads the information it request from a website the connection is dropped. If you keep browsing the website and minute later you request to see another page, the site has no knowledge that you were there. That is, it won’t unless there is a cookie that reminds the site who you are every time you connect.
Cookies usually contain some kind of ID number, a domain where the cookie is valid, and an expiration date. Very simple right?
So what are they useful for? To track you. Some people find them creepy while others, like myself, find it useful and interesting.
Okay, before I freak you out a little more lets see how they are useful….
Lets take Facebook for example; how many times have you logged on to the site and never have to log back in? How many times have you searched for an item, say on Google, then all of a sudden once you’re back on the Facebook website you see an ad that resembles the item you searched for?
The reason is because of the cookies that are stored on your web browser.
Like I said, these cookies contain information that are sent to the website every time you refresh the page. After Web 1.0, we started seeing more and more websites utilizing them and to a large extent they are one of the reasons most of these platforms have been free. But that’s a different story… In simple words, these platforms are free because they are able to track you with these little bad boys. Every action you make, the cookie is altered and sent over to the server once you connect.
Although, after the iPhone was introduced back in 2007 some say the internet cookie is obsolete, it still use to a great extent.
Now to the good stuff. Lets write a simple script that shows you how it a cookie is used to track a session of a user in Software as a Service (SaaS) Applications.
Since the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is a stateless protocol meaning that every request to a SaaS application is independent to any other request. So in order to identify each user everytime they connect to the site or application lets take a look at how this script is executed by the browser and server.
Also, I’m using the Sinatra framework on Ruby just for anybody that’s interested.
Ruby script

Ruby script

 I’m not going into every detail of the script but I can do so if you message me.
Now as you can see inside the loop we initize the counter and increment it every time the person connects to the application.
session[‘count’] += 1
Then we wrap the count in a string to display it in the web browser using the erb class.
Terminal -- Listening Port

Terminal — Listening Port

Now I got to run it in the the terminal using Rackup. As you can see in the text, the app is listening in port 9292 on the server.


Chrome -- Displaying the couter

Chrome — Displaying the counter

Now, I opened a Chrome browser to visit the page. As you can see, the server is returning the number 1. This means that this is the first time the web browser connected to the web server.

Terminal -- Header w/ no cookie.

Terminal — Header w/ no cookie.

Meanwhile, back in the terminal. If you expand the picture you can see that the header of the browser request (the purple text) does not include a cookie. The response from the web app (the red text), though, returns a cookie (Set-cookie) telling the browser to remember the string.

Chrome -- Increase Count

Chrome — Increase Count

So what happens when you refresh the page?

As you can see the browser now displays the number 2. This means that this is the second time the browser connects to the server or the web app.

Terminal -- Header with cookie

Terminal — Header with cookie

If we go back to the terminal, we can see that now our header from the browser request (the purple text )contains the cookie

Version: HTTP/1.1

and the response of the browser (the red text) contains a modified cookie to restore on the browser


Now as simple as that you now know how cookies work.







Ruby My Summer Love

After reading the book 0 to 1 by Peter Thiel and a few articles I was convinced that I had to jump onto developing web applications. And although, I had a little practice using Python back in school most of my focus was in hardware design and programming using VHDL and System Verilog and Android applications using Java and the Android SDK.
I never did anything too extensive using Python except a few Raspberry Pi projects and probably picking up Django would had been the smartest and easiest way to begin developing web apps but I decided to pick up and practice Ruby on Rails instead.
I started my journey at the end of February from scratch. By that I mean I got on Code Academy, did the Ruby course to pick up the syntax and then enrolled in a few OpenCourseWare courses. The classes I enrolled were Web Application Architecture from the University of New Mexico offered through Coursera and Engineering Software As A Service from UC Berkeley offered through edX.
Due to life and other projects I’ve been tackling, I just finished both courses. It’s a lot of information to cover in 5 months, but I was able to breeze through some subjects due to the fact that I had seen it back in school. Through both courses  I focused and spent more time on the subjects that I had little to no practice on. Subjects such as, database interactions, the “middleware” also known as the Internet, and the presentation and user interface which is also known as the “front end”.
 Also, I was able to practice Rails by creating a “blogging” platform. Of course, nothing as sophisticated as WordPress, which is built on PHP, but something in that area. You can check out the code in my BitBucket account, where it’s open to the public.
To continue learning and practicing what I’ve picked up, this summer I will share some of the information on a new post every Monday. For those of you interested in taking the courses or that are interested in picking up a programming language, I highly recommend these courses. Also, feel free to message me if you come across any road blocks. It’s frustrating at first but extremely worth it…

Business Venture

As some of you may know, I’ve been working for the Business Source of LA through a non-profit organization called ICON. Here I’ve have gotten the possibility to meet and learn from various entrepreneurs and owners of established businesses. I have been able to interact with people getting loans of a few thousands to launch their business to meeting with people who have gotten loans worth up to $3 Million to expand their business.

I started in June and have learned a lot about starting, running and expanding a business. Three very distinct subjects. Also, I’ve been able to learn how to effectively market a product, merchandize a store, write up financial projections, and learn about the different financial assistance programs there are in the Los Angeles area among other things. I can say this has been my “Business school”, except I don’t have someone on my ass asking me for homework or assignments that are 70% useless and time wasting. Also, I get to see everything implemented in the real world! In other words, I’m not learning from theory but from practical practice.

Anyways,  I’m really grateful that I’ve been surrounded by very motivated individuals. Individuals who have come to the United States searching of the so-called “American Dream” and succeed. For example, I met “Chava”, Mexican-native who migrated to the United States in his twenties once his career as a male model ended. He arrived in the land of the free with the dream of becoming a hair stylist. He worked odd jobs for two years until he saved enough money to pay for his beauty school. Once he finished the 12 year program, he began cutting hair for free at parks during the summer to gain experience. He became so good that once he was hired at a beauty salon it only took him about 3 months to become the main stylist. Fast forward 8 years until now, he is  owner of three very profitable beauty salons in the San Fernando Valley and is launching a boutique out in Santa Monica who he partnered with Mitzy Designs (well known Mexican designer) to run it. Incredible story!

Another story that was a little more captivating and inspiring was the life of Jesus from VIP Collision. He was born and raised in Honduras and was abandoned by his family at a young age. He started being an entrepreneur selling gums to get by until he was old enough to learn how to paint cars. Once he became extraordinary in the trade he decided to migrate to the United States in 1998. As he states in the video, “I only came to United States with one thing in mind; which was, to paint cars.” He worked for Ford for a few years until he was confident enough to apply at the Santa Monica Ferrari dealership. He became certified in fixing, painting and detailing exotic cars that he decided to open his own shop in Reseda. That was two years ago. His business has been very profitable and he now employs 6 people and is married with 2 kids.

His story not only motivated me but also moved me into starting my own web design business. This happened after he showed me his website and I told him that I could do a better job. All he told me was, “entonces aslo” (“then just do it”).

Also, ever since I read, “Think and Grow Rich”, I’ve looked for different ways of income and tried not to rely on just one. This will be another source of income and I’m glad I came across it during this summer.

So that’s where I’m at.  I will start a web design business targeting mostly those Latino owned businesses here in the San Feranndo Valley.

I’ll start by just offering a website then eventually add other type of features. I’m smart enough to provide a way better service than any of my competition.

I’m very confident that I could have several clients. Every small business nowdays should have a website or online identity and I mean it. Need a good reason? Look at how developing countries have access to $33 smartphones! Pretty soon, if your business is not online or simply doesn’t have an online identity (Yelp, Social Medias) you are practically not going to be a as profitable as you could be, or worse: not be taken serious.



WorkOut App Update 1

I spent this past few days learning a bit about modeling database . When I began to implement the New User registration I just created a big table that held the user in this order:
id | firstname | lastname| username|password
Just to test the connection between the Java application and the MySQL Database on my “local server”.

But once I started thinking of my overall goal: To track my workouts
I realized that I was going to need a better way to store my information on the Database. I’ve used MySQL before on previous projects like the Navigation Path Game I created a year ago but I’ve never had to build something that could possibly have to store a great amount of information. So I broke down that big table into four different tables that I will join in my application:

id | username
username_information: username | password | firstname| lastname| address | email
username_workouts: date | workout_bodyType | workout_type: 4/18/14| chest | benchpress
username_workoutType: id | date | reps | amount of weight

Each bold word is a different table. I split them this way to reduce redundancy and to meet the 2nd and 3rd order Normalization.

WorkoutApp Intro

This past weekend I spent most of my evening browsing the Android and iOS App Store for an app that could help me track my gym workouts only to find that most of them are useless. Most of the apps are very time consuming and over crowded with useless features. Although, I found some that were quite simple and straight forward they lacked features that I needed. Simple features like accessing the information on the cloud through my laptop or adding a superset.

So like the engineer I am, I thought of developing the perfect app for me instead of wasting more time looking for it. Here’s to the next few weeks of developing. Let the fun begin…

To begin these are the main features I would want on my app:

  • Access the information anywhere (laptop, iPhone, web)
  • Avoid too much time login information. I believe it should take less than 3-5sec
  • Be able to see if I broke my PR (personal record) by lifting heavier or doing more reps with a certain weight.

The first part is the easiest. I spent a day or so working on the log in and new user feature. You can find that on my GitHub.
(Note: I’m not worried about the GUI yet, so far I’m just focusing on working on the back-end of it)