During the past few weeks, in conjunction with the AWS Public Dataset Program, we have been working to bring reanalysis data to AWS. Today we are excited to announce that an initial subset of ECMWF ERA5 data is now available in Amazon S3.

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Introduction to ERA5

ERA5 is the fifth generation of ECMWF atmospheric reanalyses of the global climate, and the first reanalysis produced as an operational service. Reanalysis products are important because they assimilate vast amounts of observational data with physical models to create a detailed and consistent overview of weather and climate conditions. …


Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment, full effort is full victory.” Mahatma Gandhi

Less than 24 hours until the gun. I’ve been in Honolulu for a week now, laying low and focusing on staying healthy and fresh for tomorrow’s race. Aside from a short 5k tempo run on Thursday I’ve stayed off my feet, opting for an occasional swim to keep loose.

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Honolulu Marathon finish line is in sight!

Today’s pre-race shakeout will bring my training total to 1,203 miles. It’s been a long cycle, over six months with pre-base, base, and peak phases. I lost a few weeks to plantar fasciitis during the…


“There are champions everywhere. Every street’s got them. All we need to do is train them properly.” Arthur Lydiard

It’s officially time to taper! Yesterday I completed my last peak phase workout, a 34 km progression run that served as a race simulation. I followed it up with a stack of pancakes to simulate a celebratory post-race brunch.

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Peak phase done! Golden sparkle flair courtesy of my niece Isla.

It’s been a rollercoaster training cycle, definitely the longest and most challenging I’ve ever endured. Bad days, great days, days lost to injury, I suppose it’s all to be expected over a six month period. By race day I’ll have put in…


“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to success is more important than any other one thing.” Abraham Lincoln

Full disclosure. I’ve been dealing with plantar fasciitis in my right foot for over a month now. The injury was actually the reason why I started writing about my training cycle. These posts were a cathartic response to suddenly finding myself on the sideline.

There wasn’t an acute incident that triggered the injury, it started as some general discomfort in my right heel after some 200 meter repeats. Being sore is a given, I’m sore all the time. After all…


“Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work.” Chuck Close

Achieving any long-term goal requires commitment and discipline. Success isn’t an accident. Success is the result of committing to put forth effort and having the discipline to do so consistently over time.

This isn’t easy. People struggle with long-term goals all the time. In general we’re really bad at envisioning future outcomes and delaying gratification. A McDonald’s cheeseburger won’t make you obese, just like an impulsive credit card purchase won’t bury you in debt, but short term decisions accrue over time. Everyone would…


“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Abraham Lincoln

If I’m going to race the marathon, I’ll need the proper training plan. I’ve tried a few different plans in the past, including the intermediate and advanced Hal Higdon plans, and the 55 mile per week plan in Pete Pfitzinger’s Advanced Marathoning. Those plans served me well and gave structure to my training, but even though the workouts were challenging they had become a bit too comfortable. If I’m going to get faster, I need to get uncomfortable.

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From lurker to loper. Reaping the benefits of Nike’s marketing budget. Hollywood, CA. 2016

In…


Ignorance, overconfidence, and a fascination that became a passion.

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fEmil Zátopek, whose last minute decision to run his first marathon resulted in a gold medal at the 1952 olympics.

“Why should I practice running slow? I already know how to run slow. I want to learn to run fast.” Emil Zátopek

Prelude: Ignorant & Overconfident

The first marathon I ever ran was the 2006 Honolulu Marathon. I was intrigued by the sheer distance of the race and wanted to see if I had what it takes. I drove down to the Hawaii Convention Center and registered two days before the race.


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A few weeks ago I participated in the New York edition of ExpeditionHack, where teams mapped the future geography of conservation, restoration, and sustainability. Planet OS was a sponsor of the event and provided teams with free access to our Datahub API, allowing them to easily integrate Earth science data into their applications.

My role at the event was to assist teams using Planet OS in their applications, and I mostly spent my time responding to Slack messages, increasing API rate limits, producing sample python code, and providing dataset advice and technical support.

By 3:00 p.m. on Sunday sixteen teams…


It took roughly 18 months and three consecutive attempts, but I finally managed to qualify for the Boston Maraton.

It’s the most physically exhausting thing I’ve ever done. I was so delirious after finishing that I spent 90 minutes snuggling a mylar blanket in the medical tent, apologizing to volunteer nurses as I puked up citrus Clif Shots into ziploc baggies. Champion stuff!

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Two Options: Run Fast or Fundraise

There are two ways a runner can register for the Boston Marathon. The first is by participating in the official charity program. The second is by running a qualifying time at a certified course within a 12-month…


Qualifying for the Boston Marathon is one of my personal goals for 2015. For a thirty-something male, this means running 26.2 miles in under 3 hours and 10 minutes, or roughly 7:15 per mile. This is nowhere near the current world record, but trust me, crossing the finish line an hour after Dennis Kimetto is still really fucking hard.1

I know it’s hard because two weeks ago, after months of training, my qualifying attempt was torpedoed a mere 3 miles from the finish. It was a full hull breach followed by a succession of mutinies. …

Chris Kalima

In pursuit of a personal best.

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