Geaux Virtual

Helping virtualize the datacenter…

Reconnecting ESX(i) hosts with 1000V installed

leave a comment »

I follow a certain policy: “You break it; you fix it”.  Why?  When you break something, you learn a lot about why it broke and what it takes to fix it.  Hopefully, you also learn how to prevent it from happening again.  Two, I’m not stuck dealing with the problem someone else caused.

Tonight was one where I broke something, and now I needed to fix it.

I had to reconfigure a UCS system running 3 vSphere 4.1 ESXi hosts connected to a Cisco 1000V.  Before powering down the hosts, I made some changes to the 1000v and the UCS.  So far, so good.  All the hosts were powered down along with vCenter and the 1000V VSMs, which were running on the UCS chassis.  I made my configuration changes on the UCS and powered up the first host.  No connectivity.  Something was not jiving between the 1000V config on the host itself and the vNIC configuration from the UCS.  It turned out to be a misconfiguration of the native vlan on the vNIC presented to the host and the native vlan configuration configured on the host by the 1000V.  I returned some values to their previous settings, and the host came back up.  I updated the 1000V config, which took the host back down, but I adjusted the UCS to the new configuration I wanted to bring the host back up.  Great, except I still had to bring two more hosts back online.

This is where I dove into vemcmd on the ESXi host.  When I brought up the next host, I opened a local console to the system.  “vemcmd show port” showed me the native vlan configuration error that was causing my issue.  So how do you fix this?  It’s actually quite simple.  When looking at the output of the previous command, you’ll notice three Trunk ports on the system.  Two are the actual physical uplinks connected from the  system.  The third is the port channel that is formed between the two nics.  To bring the system back online, you need to issue the following command: vemcmd set port-mode trunk native-vlan <native vlan> ltl <ltl of port-channel>.  After issuing this command, the system was back online.  You’ll notice that after issuing the command, the native vlan of the physical nics remains the same.  After the VEM gets the updated configuration, the native vlan is now the correct on the physical nics.

Written by jguidroz

September 28, 2010 at 7:15 pm

Posted in Networking, UCS, VMware

Working with UCS and vCenter: IPMI Settings

with 5 comments

In my last blog post, Working with Cisco UCS XML API, I went through the steps needed to login and logout of UCS Manager using PHP and PowerShell.  Today, I decided to write the first PowerShell script I needed which would automatically update the IPMI settings on the ESX hosts with the settings from UCS Manager.  In writing this script, I did come across this post from Mike Laverick on using PowerShell to enable DPM settings

Now, this script is important for two reasons.  The first reason is that to configure IPMI on ESX hosts, you need both IP address and the MAC address of the CIMC controller from the UCS blades.  When having to do this for multiple ESX hosts, a script is very handy.  Now the second reason is more important.  Currently in UCS, the CIMC IP is tied to the actual blade and not the service profile.  This means if a service profile is associated with a new blade, the ESX host IPMI information is now pointing to the old blade.  Not good!

With that said, here is the first version of this script as a PowerShell script.  (This will also come as a PHP script and possibly other languages in the near future.)  In order to run this script, you will need PowerCLI installed.  You will also need IP and credentials for vCenter and UCS, as well as the IPMI user and password.  This script has only been tested against UCS 1.3.1 and vSphere 4.1.  I will be testing this shortly against vSphere 4.0.  This is also a v0.1 script, so there is no error checking (who needs it right?).  That will be coming in a future version.

###DISCLAIMER###

I provide this script for academic purposes only.  Use at your own risk.  I am not responsible for any damages it may cause.

###DISCLAIMER###

So what does the script do?  The script first logs into vCenter and UCS Manager.  It then grabs the UUID from each ESX host.  Once done, it will pass this UUID to UCS to find the corresponding blade and return the CIMC IP and MAC for that blade.  The script will then write these settings to the IPMI of the ESX host.  Finally, it will log out of the UCS and vCenter.

#####################################################################
# UCS_VMware_IMPI.ps1 v0.01  By: Justin Guidroz
#
# This script will connect to UCS Manager, collect IPMI information
# for the provisioned blades, and update the appropriate IPMI
# information on the ESX hosts.  The script can also be run to
# update the IPMI information if a service profile is moved to a
# different blade.
#
#####################################################################
Add-PSSnapin VMware.VimAutomation.Core

### Needed variables
$ucsUrl = “”
$ucsUser = “”
$ucsPassword = “”
$vCenterUrl = “”
$vCenterUser = “”
$vCenterPassword = “”
$ipmiUser = “”
$ipmiPassword = “”

### Function ucs_post
### Required variables: $url = UCS Url $data = XML to send to UCS
### Returns: XML response from UCS
function ucs_post($url,$data) {
$request = [System.Net.HttpWebRequest] [System.Net.HttpWebRequest]::Create(“http://&#8221; + $url +”/nuova”)
$request.Method = “POST”
$request.ContentType = “text/xml”
$sendData = new-object System.IO.StreamWriter($request.GetRequestStream())
$sendData.Write($data)
$sendData.Close()
$response = $request.GetResponse()
$sr = new-object System.IO.StreamReader($response.GetResponseStream())
$xml = [xml] $sr.ReadToEnd()
return $xml
}

### Function ucs_login
### Required variables: $inName = UCS username $inPassword = UCS password $url = UCS url
### Returns: Cookie after login
### Todo: Error Checking
function ucs_login($inName, $inPassword, $url) {
$aaaLogin = “<aaaLogin inName='” + $inName + “‘ inPassword='” + $inPassword + “‘ />”
$xml = ucs_post $url $aaaLogin
$outCookie = $xml.aaaLogin.outCookie
return $outCookie
}

### Function ucs_logout
### Required variables: $url = UCS url $inCookie = Cookie for session to logout
### Returns: Status of logout
### Todo: Error Checking
function ucs_logout($url, $inCookie) {
$aaaLogout = “<aaaLogout inCookie='” + $inCookie + “‘ />”
$xml = ucs_post $url $aaaLogout
$outStatus = $xml.aaaLogout.outStatus
return $outStatus
}

### Function get_esx_hosts
### Required variables: $vCenter = $vCenter server object
### Returns: ESX hosts in vCenter
### ToDo: Error checking. More logic
function get_esx_hosts($vCenter) {
$esxhosts = @()
$VMHosts = Get-VMhost -server $vCenter
foreach ($h in $VMHosts) {
$esxhost = “” | Select-Object Name, Uuid, IpmiIp, IpmiMac
$esxhost.Name = $h.name
$v = Get-VMHost -Name $h | Get-View
$esxhost.Uuid = $v.Summary.Hardware.Uuid
$esxhosts += $esxhost
}
return $esxhosts
}

### Function get_blade_dn
### Required variables: $uuid = ESX UUID $url = UCS url $cookie = UCS cookie for session
### Returns: DN of physical blade
### Todo: Error Checking
function get_blade_dn($uuid, $url, $cookie) {
$computeBlade = “<configResolveClass cookie='” + $cookie + “‘ inHierarchical=’false’ classId=’computeBlade’><inFilter><eq class=’computeBlade’ property=’uuid’ value='” + $uuid + “‘ /></inFilter> </configResolveClass>”
$bladeXml = ucs_post $url $computeBlade
return $bladeXml.configResolveClass.outConfigs.computeBlade.dn
}

### Function get_blade_ipmi
### Required variables: $dn = DN of physical blade $url = UCS url $cookie = UCS cookie for session
### Returns: Management Interface XML response from UCS
### Todo: Error Checking
function get_blade_ipmi($dn, $url, $cookie) {
$mgmtIf = “<configResolveClass cookie='” + $cookie + “‘ inHierarchical=’false’ classId=’mgmtIf’><inFilter><eq class=’mgmtIf’ property=’dn’ value='” + $dn + “/mgmt/if-1′ /></inFilter> </configResolveClass>”
$mgmtIfXml = ucs_post $url $mgmtIf
return $mgmtIfXml
}

### Function get_host_ipmi
### Required variables: $esxhost = ESX Host object $url = UCS url $cookie = UCS cookie for session
### Returns: Updated ESX host object
### Todo: Error checking
function get_host_ipmi($esxhost, $url, $cookie) {
$bladeDn = get_blade_dn $esxhost.Uuid $url $cookie
$mgmtIfXml = get_blade_ipmi $bladeDn $url $cookie
$esxhost.IpmiIp = $mgmtIfXml.configResolveClass.outConfigs.mgmtIf.extIp
$esxhost.IpmiMac = $mgmtIfXml.configResolveClass.outConfigs.mgmtIf.mac
return $esxhost
}

### Function set_host_ipmi
### Required variables: $esxhost = ESX host object $vCenter = vCenter Server Object
### Returns: nothing (should be changed)
### Todo: Error checking
function set_host_ipmi($esxhost, $vCenter) {
$v = Get-VMHost -server $vCenter -Name $esxhost.Name | % {Get-View $_.Id}
$ipmi = New-Object Vmware.Vim.HostIpmiInfo
$ipmi.BmcIpAddress = $esxhost.IpmiIp
$ipmi.BmcMacAddress = $esxhost.IpmiMac
$ipmi.Login = $ipmiUser
$ipmi.Password = $ipmiPassword
$v.UpdateIpmi($ipmi)
}

### Where the fun begins
### Lets log in to vCenter and UCS
$vCenter = Connect-VIServer -server $vCenterUrl -user $vCenterUser -password $vCenterPassword
$cookie = ucs_login $ucsUser $ucsPassword $ucsUrl

### Grabbing ESX hosts from vCenter
Write-Host “Getting ESX Hosts from vCenter”
$esxhosts = get_esx_hosts $vCenter

### Get the IPMI settings from UCS and update ESX hosts with information
Write-Host “Getting IPMI Settings from UCS and configuring ESX”
foreach ($h in $esxhosts) {
$h = get_host_ipmi $h $ucsUrl $cookie
set_host_ipmi $h $vCenter
}

### Fun as ended, time to log out.
Write-Host “Logging out of UCS”
$outStatus = ucs_logout $ucsUrl $cookie
Write-Host $outStatus
Write-Host “Logging out of vCenter”
Disconnect-VIServer -server $server -confirm:$false

And here is the PowerShell file.  UCS_VMware_IPMI.ps1.doc The .doc will need to be deleted from the end of the file (only way I could get the file uploaded).

Looks like I need to figure out a way to make code display on my blog. Another day.

Written by jguidroz

September 20, 2010 at 6:37 pm

Posted in Scripting, UCS, VMware

Working with the Cisco UCS XML API

with 3 comments

Working with Cisco UCS systems on a daily basis, I decided to take some time this weekend to learn more about the XML API.  Honestly, it is a thing of beauty and simplicity.  Working with the Cisco UCS XML API is as simple as sending an HTTP POST with an XML document to the UCS Manager and getting the response.  That’s it.  Isn’t that great?

Seeing as I have a couple of projects that will benefit from interacting with UCS systems, I decided to write a script in PHP to login and logout of a UCS for starters.  Then Rob Markovic asked, “Why not PowerShell?”.  So I wrote the same script in PowerShell as well.  I do need to give credit to Steve Chambers for this post: Access UCS API with Ruby.  This was beneficial as I was reading the XML API documentation and starting to work on my scripts.

***Disclaimer***

I am not an expert in PHP or PowerShell.  I am providing this information for academic purposes only to show how easy it is to work with the UCS XML API.  I am also not responsible for any damage this may cause your systems.

***Disclaimer***

One thing you’ll notice with the Cisco UCS XML API is that the only methods that require a username and password to be passed is the aaaLogin and aaaRefresh methods.  All other methods require a cookie to be passed, which is only obtained by logging in or refreshing your session to the UCS Manager.

Let’s start with what’s needed for PHP to work with the Cisco XML API.  I downloaded and installed HTTP_Request2 from PEAR to make the HTTP call easier.

require_once HTTP/Request2.php;

Now we need to set the url of our server and the XML parameters for logging into the UCS system.

$url = “http://server ip or dns/nuova”;

$aaaLogin = “<aaaLogin inName=’username’ inPassword=’password’ />”;

With the url and XML set, we can now create our HTTP request for logging in.

$request = new HTTP_REQUEST2($url, HTTP_REQUEST2::METHOD_POST);

$request->setHeader(“Content-type: text/xml”);

$request->setBody($aaaLogin);

After the request is created, we can send the data to the UCS Manager and get our response.

$response = $request->send();

To make it easier to work with the response, we are going to create SimpleXMLElement from the response.

$xml = new SimpleXMLElement($response->getBody());

Now to get our cookie from the XML response, we just need to do the following:

$outCookie = $xml->attributes()->outCookie

With the cookie now obtained, we are free to call other UCS XML API methods for interacting with the system.  To logout, we need to create the logout xml and issue an HTTP POST with this data.  (I will not repeat the code for issuing the HTTP POST).  Here is the XML for logging out of the system.

$aaaLogout = “<aaaLogout inCookie=’cookie for session’ />”;

To verify status of logout, you look at the outStatus attribute from the XML response.

$outStatus = $xml->attributes()->outStatus;

Here is how to do the same with PowerShell.

$url = “http://server ip or dns/nuova”

$aaaLogin = “<aaaLogin inName=’username’ inPassword=’password’ />

$request = [System.Net.HttpWebRequest] [System.Net.HttpWebRequest]::Create($url)

$request.Method = “POST”

$request.ContentType = “text/xml”

$sendData = new-object System.IO.StreamWriter($request.GetRequestStream())

$sendData.Write($aaaLogin)

$sendData.Close()

$response = $request.GetResponse()

$sr = new-object System.IO.StreamReader($response.GetReponseStream())

$xml = [xml] $sr.ReadToEnd()

$outCookie = $xml.aaaLogin.outCookie

To logout with PowerShell, we create the aaaLogout XML with the cookie we just obtained and issue another HTTP Request (code not repeated).

$aaaLogout =”<aaaLogout inCookie=’cookie for session’ />”

And to get the status of the logout.

$outstatus = $xml->aaaLogout->outStatus

There you have it.  PHP and PowerShell example code for logging into and out of Cisco UCS Manager.  You can find the programmer’s guide here:  Cisco UCS Manager XML API Programmer’s Guide.  I would also suggest checking out these Cisco blog posts on the Cisco UCS Manager XML API by John McDonough: UCS XML API “Hello World”, UCS XML API “curl and xml”, and UCS XML API Query Methods.

Written by jguidroz

September 19, 2010 at 2:36 pm

Posted in Scripting, UCS

Automating ESXi 4.1 continuation

with 4 comments

William Lam has posted a great article on tips and tricks of automating ESXi 4.1 here.  Go read his post first.

Seriously, go read his post first.

Ok, you’re back?

I wanted to add to his post with some issues and fixes I’ve run across with moving from ESX to ESXi automation.

With ESX 4.0, at the beginning of the ks.cfg file, you would specify an install line.  Nothing else was needed as the url location of the install bits was passed in the PXE config line.  No more.  For ESX(i) 4.1, you must specify the url for the install location in the ks.cfg file.

Beginning with ESX(i) 4.1, ip append 2 in the PXE config boot line no longer works.  What does this do exactly?  This told the ESX(i) to use the same nic it booted from for downloading the install bits.  If this was not specified, ESX(i) would try to use the first nic it detected, vmnic0.  With ESX(i) 4.1, you must specify ksdevice=vmnic(x) if you are booting and installing from a different nic than vmnic0.  I’m not sure why this behavior changed between 4.0 and 4.1.

William did mention vim-cmd.  In ESX, the command is actually vmware-vim-cmd.  For ESXi, be sure to update these commands to vim-cmd.

For disk setup, I have two lines in my ks.cfg file: clearpart –onfirstdisk –overwritevmfs and autopart –onfirstdisk –overwritevmfs.  I did notice this will create the datastore name on each ESXi host as datastore.  I need to investigate if this can be changed at this part, or add a line in the script to update that name.

In my working with scripting ESXi installations, I’ve found it much easier to have everything run after firstboot then trying to run the configurations before firstboot.

Plenty of advanced configurations (SNMP, Active Directory, adding to vCenter) can be handled through the scripted install, but involve writing a python script to handle.  For some, it will be easier using the supplied commands in the vMA or writing PowerShell scripts.

Outside of these differences, scripted ESXi installs are awesome.

Written by jguidroz

September 11, 2010 at 12:07 pm

Posted in Scripting, VMware

What a difference a year makes

leave a comment »

A year ago, I had just accepted an offer to join @lynxbat at his company in Fort Worth, TX.  With the change in companies, this meant I was going to VMworld 2009 on my own dime.

Fast forward a year, @lynxbat is a vSpecialist with EMC, and I’m a Network Architect with ACADIA.  Ah, how times have changed, and all for the better.

Written by jguidroz

August 18, 2010 at 5:01 pm

Posted in Random

Upgrading a UCS

leave a comment »

Today I had the opportunity to upgrade a UCS from 1.2.1b to 1.3.1c.  I had watched it done before, and it is straight forward process.  However, there is one thing to pay careful attention to.

When reading the upgrade documentation, you will notice there is one piece of hardware that can be upgraded either at the beginning of the process or at the end.  This piece of hardware is the adapters in the blades.  If a firmware policy is not applied to the service profile, then the adapter can be updated at the beginning of the process.  If a firmware policy is applied, then the adapters will be upgraded as part of applying the new firmware policy.

So what is the difference??

When you upgrade the adapters at the beginning, you are given the option to activate the firmware on next boot of the blade.  This is helpful as there is no disruption of network or SAN traffic at this time.  However, updating the adapter through firmware policy is a different story.  When you apply the firmware policy to the blade, the new adapter firmware is written to the blade, and THEN activated, causing a disruption of network and SAN traffic.  When you are booting from SAN, this can cause an interesting situation.

So what to do?

There are two ways to handle adapter upgrades when using firmware policies.  Either remove the firmware policy from the blades before starting so the adapters can be upgraded first, or shutdown your servers before applying the firmware policy.  Both methods work; it’s just really a matter of preference.

Written by jguidroz

August 4, 2010 at 8:24 pm

Posted in UCS

Automatically add ESX(i) to vCenter from ESX(i)

with 3 comments

I have to say, I love my job.  Since starting at the end of May, I have had the opportunity to work with some great people and tackle tasks that I have been wanting to complete yet never had the time to do at previous employers.  Specifically, I am talking about automating ESX(i) deployments.  I have performed many scripted installs before (in fact I had not done a full load of ESX for over 3 years and only recently did so because CNA drivers were not in the ISO), but now I am in the situation where build after build must be exactly the same no matter who is performing the builds.  With that, our team started looking at the ESX Deployment Appliance (great appliance BTW), but I quickly noticed some lacking features which I quickly added to fit our current needs.  (Keep your eyes out for announcement in the near future on a collaboration myself and @lynxbat will put together regarding a deployment appliance).

With the work I’ve been doing lately, I asked myself the question: why couldn’t an ESX(i) host add itself to vCenter?  The easiest answer to this question is that VMware has not written a program or script to perform this task.  But is their a technical reason why this would not be possible?

In order to perform any type of action on vCenter, API access is required.  There are two ways to access the vCenter APIs: MOB and Web Services API.  The MOB, or Managed Object Browser, is a web site that allows retrieving and setting values for vCenter.  Traversing the MOB is not easy and requires frequent trips to the vSphere API documentation for assistance.  The Web Services API is a web service that can be used to retrieve and set values via a SOAP client.  VMware even provides SDKs for Java and Perl.

Do we have an SDK available on ESX(i)? No.  This means we must see if we can access the MOB or Web Services API from ESX(i) by writing a script that does not rely on an SDK.  Looking through an ESXi host, I noticed python was on the host.  Why is python on the host?  The MOB is written in python.  There is no SOAP client libs loaded for python on ESX(i)(if there are, please post a comment), and this solution should not require loading of additional libraries to ESX(i).  With that I set out and wrote a script that will connect an ESX(i) host to vCenter.

***DISCLAIMER***

Use at your own risk.  I provide this script as an academic example of how to do this.  I am not responsible if it does havoc on your environment.  This script has only been tested with vSphere 4.1 ESXi and vCenter.  ESX 4.1, ESX 4.0, and vCenter 4.0  have not been tested.

***DISCLAIMER***

First we must import the libraries we need.

import re,os,urllib,urllib2

Next, let’s set some variables that will be needed.  This is where it starts to get interesting.  <CLUSTER> below needs to be replaced with the cluster the host will be added to. For this exercise, this is a static assignment. This name will be in the form of domain-c21 or something similar and can be found in the MOB.

url = "https://vcenteraddress/mob/?moid=<CLUSTER>&method=addHost"
username = "vcenterusername"
password = "vcenterpassword"

This section configures the authentication for when we connect to the MOB.

passman = urllib2.HTTPPasswordMgrWithDefaultRealm()
passman.add_password(None,url,username,password)
authhandler = urllib2.HTTPBasicAuthHandler(passman)
opener = urllib2.build_opener(authhandler)
urllib2.install_opener(opener)

This next section computes the SHA1 hash for the host and strips out all unnecessary characters.  As you can tell, my regex skills are a bit rusty, and this probably could be cleaned up.

cmd = "openssl x509 -sha1 -in /etc/vmware/ssl/rui.crt -noout -fingerprint"
tmp = os.popen(cmd)
tmp_sha1 = tmp.readline()
tmp.close()
s1 = re.split('=',tmp_sha1)
s2 = s1[1]
s3 = re.split('\n', s2)
sha1 = s3[0]

This next section creates the ConnectHostSpec information that needs to be passed to the addHost method.

xml = """<spec xsi:type="HostConnectSpec">
<hostName>192.168.188.130</hostName>
<sslThumbprint>%s</sslThumbprint>
<userName>root</userName>
<password>rootpassword</password>
<force>1</force>
</spec>"""
xml = xml.replace("%s",sha1)

Once the ConnectHostSpec is created, we can now encode the parameters that must be sent with the POST to the addHost method.  As you can see, besides the ConnectHostSpec, we must also pass values for asConnected, resoursePool, and license.  Only spec and asConnected require a value.  After the values are encoded, a request can be created and the data sent to the URL.

params = {'spec':xml,'asConnected':'1','resourcePool':'','license':''}
e_params = urllib.urlencode(params)
req = urllib2.Request(url,e_params)
page = urllib2.urlopen(req).read()

And that’s it. This small script will take the parameters needed to add an ESX(i) host to vCenter through the MOB and complete this task from the host itself.  I am currently testing integrating this script with scripted installs.  Stay tuned as I am already getting more ideas for this script.

Written by jguidroz

July 25, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Posted in Scripting, VMware

Rapid ESX Deployments

with one comment

At the end of this past week, we were actually working on installing ESX to our UCS blades for a stateless environment.  When you have 16 blades to install, the last thing you want to do is build each one through the ESX gui.

Enter the ESX Deployment Appliance, or EDA for short.  (You can read up about EDA here http://www.vmware.com/appliances/directory/va/89313 )

As great as version 0.90 is, I quickly ran into two three issues.

Issue 1: EDA does not allow assigning VLAN to Service Console

For our deployments, the Service Console port of all our ESX hosts reside on a separate VLAN from the rest of the network.  When installing through the gui, the ESX installer provides a way to assign the Service Console port to a VLAN.  In the current version of EDA, the only way to accomplish this is by adding the VLAN to the Service Console portgroup through the POST section of the KS.  However, the ESX host will not have network connectivity until you first go ping the gateway from the console.  It works, but not convenient to rapid deployments.

Issue 2: Naming of local ESX VMFS volume

Typically when I build an ESX host, I name the local VMFS volume with the host name of the ESX host.  This allows for the local VMFS volumes of all ESX hosts to be easily recognized in vCenter.  This is currently not an option in 0.90 of EDA.

Issue 3: Removing default VM Portgroup during ESX installation

This is a very minor issue.  If we were using standard vSwitches, then I would probably be fine with this as I’m starting to move to the one vSwitch rules them all camp.  However for these deployments, we are utilizing the Cisco Nexus 1000v, so a local VM portgroup is not needed.

Since these options were crucial for our rapid deployments, I decided to start hacking away on EDA on my flight back from Boston Friday.  Fixing these issues (or adding these features) didn’t take long at all, and I’m currently testing out the modified appliance.  For those wondering, I will not be distributing the modified appliance.  If there is enough interest, I’ll write up a blog post on the exact changes that need to be made to these fixes (or features).

Written by jguidroz

June 27, 2010 at 8:52 pm

Posted in VMware

The next chapter in my career

with one comment

I do have to say, my voluntary vacation the past 6 weeks has been great.  I did not travel anywhere exotic, or actually do much of anything.  It was just great having downtime away from work.

Now it’s time to focus on the next chapter of my professional career, which starts on May 24th.  I will be joining ACADIA as a Network Architect.  I am looking forward to the opportunities and challenges that will be presented in this position and company.

I will keep this update short and head off to today’s RAoN: Running.

Written by jguidroz

May 13, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Posted in Networking, Random, VMware

RAoN: Running

with one comment

It has been a while since my last update.  I have been trying to enjoy my time away from the IT field, and by that, I mean turning off my brain from all things IT (a very hard thing to do).  I do have some technical blog posts that will come out once I decide to turn my brain back on, so please be patient.

With that, I am adding another acronym to the long list that I see fly around on a daily basis (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, ROFL, etc).  The new one is RAoN, or expanded, Random Acts of Nuttiness.

My first RAoN is running.  I use to run quite a bit back in the day (yes 10 years ago is back in the day for me).  I use to run 50-60 miles a week and walked on to the LSU Cross Country and Track team.  Two years later after my first two serious injuries, I decided to run away from running.  I was burnt out.  I would do a race now and then, but never at the level I was at before.  One thing with running: when you stop, you get out of shape very quickly.  I tried to start back running quite a number of times over the past 10 years.  My problem was/is in my head.  I remember the pace I used to train at, and it would frustrate me how hard it was to run slower than that for vastly shorter distances.  I was so frustrated, that I would stop after a couple of weeks.

So what is different now?  Well there are a few reasons even though I am older now and my body aches more.  First, I bought myself a pair of Nike Free 5.0 shoes.  Ever since lacing these up, I have been able to run without pain in my ankles and knees.  Seriously, if you run, get yourself a pair and try them out.  Second, I am forcing myself to work through my mental blocks.  How?  As much as I hate it, I am running on a treadmill.  This allows me to better control my pace as I work myself back into shape.  It also helps me keep my distances relatively short (2 miles) because I can not stand running on a treadmill.  And third?  I set myself a goal.  I just recently completed my first Crescent City Classic in New Orleans.  For being very out of shape and not having run anything over a 5K(in a race or training) in 10 years, I completed the 10K course in 55 minutes.  Good for the shape I was in, horrible compared to 10 years ago.  So my goal for next year is 45 minutes.  I plan to get there by slowly increasing the distance of my runs (half mile at a time), and slowly increasing the pace I am running at.

I know I will never be in the shape I was in 10 years ago, and that is perfectly ok.  However, I need to train my brain while I am running that I will never be able to run at the pace I use to.  That is the difficult task at hand for the next year, oh and staying healthy.

Stay tuned for the next RAoN: Triathlons.

Written by jguidroz

April 29, 2010 at 6:22 pm

Posted in Random