Saturday, November 27, 2010


It's an often overlooked activity in life. I know people who "live" off 4 hours of sleep a night. I also know people who struggle every night to get to sleep and finally I know people who struggle to wake up. I don't know many people who say they sleep well.

Why is sleeping like a baby just for babies? Why can't we just go back to sleeping well?

Last night I got 10 hours of uninterrupted deep sleep. I had it coming for sure. Last week in Germany I would sleep 10 or 11pm to 1 am. Then 3 am to 5 am. That's not good sleep. My mentality when I travel like that is to appreciate what I get and roll with it. But it comes back to "get" me at home. So last night was the night. 10 hours of down time. The great thing is this morning I feel better than I've felt in two weeks. So to me that mean's I'm back to normal.

I'm no sleep expert but I read often about it and I actively pursue it daily so I feel expert enough to write about it. First I must say I come from a family that can sleep. When I was 16 my father took me to a Cheap Trick concert. While I rocked out he slept. How can anyone sleep in something that loud? Anyway once asleep I'm out, but often times I struggle to get to sleep and if it's not enough sleep I struggle to wake up. So what causes this:

Food - The more I learn about what's good for my body the more I'm convinced that food is the biggest culprit. I don't expect everyone to follow my Primal methods of eating but I would give this advice. No Sugar after 6pm. If you are a late eater like we are (8pm is not rare for dinner at our house) then stick with that. But on those occasions where we eat earlier I always have a high quality snack (Nuts and berries) one hour before bed.

Screens - Computer, TV, video games - We purposely don't have a tv in our bedroom. The idea is to stay away from a screen roughly one hour before bed time. That mean's we pick up a book or a magazine or my gosh have a conversation. We certainly are not perfect at this but it's a good goal to shoot for.

Pain - Pain is the worst when you are trying to sleep. Pain in the back is probably the biggest pain we suffer. I think the key to this is find out what's wrong and find some good stretches that can subdue the pain. I've learned that stretching at night is the best for me. This helps to relax my muscles and I wake up ready to go.

Work/Family - Troubles or challenges here probably cost a huge amount of sleep. They sure have in my life. For work I make it a point to stop any work at 7 pm. That's hard when a great deal of my work is in China but as long as I'm consistent, they know what to expect from me. As for Family, work on that all day and going to sleep is much easier.

So these are the things I work on for Sleep. My goal is 7-8 hours. I hope if you are struggling with sleep these tips can help you too.

It's a good life...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Gone Primal

Recently if you've been reading I went Gluten Free about 2 months ago. The initial results were pleasing with a 5 lb drop in static weight. Yep, just by cutting wheat out of my diet. As of this week I've gone Primal. I've known Mark Sisson for who knows how many years. I've followed his website for probably as long as it has been up. I decided if I was going Gluten free I might as well go all the way and go Primal. For the most part outside of food I am primal. My coach Gordo, gives me a relatively primal system to follow. I get lots of sleep and I love to play. So the biggest change for me is food. First let me list out what I won't eat:

- Grains - Of any kind - Wheat, corn, oats, etc.
- Big Starchy things like potatoes.
- Legumes - I know, no more refried beans but that's ok.
- Coke - Oh my gosh!

What I will eat
- Meat - All Kinds
- Fruit
- Veggies - The golden rule - If you can eat them raw as well as cooked, eat them.

In reality, I feel better when I eat this way. It's not the first time I've done this it's simply something I feel I need to do to live. I plan to live a strong healthy life for a long time. Family history is against me. My father suffered a heart attack at 55 and my mother has Alzeimer's. So I have to do things fairly drastic to avoid both. That and I have been in an energy rut for too long. So getting serious about what goes into my body seems right.

If you look at the list of things I can eat it's tasty. Fruit is good right! Meat done right melts in your mouth. Eggs are perfect food and can be dressed up like this morning: 3 Eggs scrambled, Left over Tri Tip and a hint of cheddar cheese. Outstanding!

Now those of you who remember and tried the Adkins diet there is a major difference. That diet fully limited your carbs. In the Primal world Carbs are the basis of your diet just the naturally occurring good ones. Fruit and veggies are all carbs. If you eat them, the right one's they are good for you. So those athletes that worry I'm eating too much fat and not enough carbs, wait and see. So far it's really good. No issues with energy in fact my energy is strong.

It's a good life...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I like you better

as Dave - So my wife of 17 years tells me. I guess I can except that my first name is my best name and any nickname current or future is just that a nickname. It's not who I am.

It's a good life....

Monday, November 22, 2010

Airline Travel and the TSA

There's been a great deal of complaining about the new rules at with Airline travel and the TSA. I don't think I've set any records or anything but I think I've become somewhat an expert in air travel this year. 50 segments on United and probably 25 or so on other airlines mean's I've become friend of the TSA. This and I've never been pat down and only had my bag searched once.

Here's what I see that is causing people problems.

1. Way too much stuff - I know they are charging for bags. So travel light. The more stuff you try to take on the plane the more you will mess up in security.

2. Toiletries - Don't even try to skirt the rules. They will get you every time. Use a plastic bag and don't go over the bottle volume limit.

3. Things in pockets - Just empty your pockets into your back pack. It's easier and you most likely won't forget whatever it is you forgot in your pocket.

4. Pissed off travelers - It seems to me the more pissed off you are when you are traveling the more likely you will do something stupid in the TSA line and get secondary inspection. Remember the service industry is just plain hard. They are trying but they are not always the best. Relax and give people a break. You won't be pissed off and you won't forget that you had that second cell phone in your pocket.

5. Don't talk back - If they ask you to secondary inspection go peacefully. The best line I heard out of a traveler - "Ok, This is how it's going to work" - Yeah right, say that in TSA and you may never get on the plane.

I think the important thing to remember is travel changed on September 11th. Yes, the airlines are there to serve you the paying customer but not at all costs. You as the traveler have the responsibility to know the rules, have patience and above all keep calm. And for gosh sakes smile and say thanks as often as you can. It goes a long way.

It's a good life....

Saturday, November 20, 2010

You Can Go Back

This morning Germany time I ran an old loop I used to to when we lived there. It was a rough night thanks to some severe jet lag so I had no expectations on the run. But sometimes that's the best thing when running. As it turned out this morning no expectations led to a great run. The run took place entirely in the dark. I started through the town of Grossenseebach, ran by our old house and out the farm track. Then back towards the forest. There was enough light from the moon that the paths were easy to see. That is until I entered the forest. In the forest everything went black so I relied on memory. It's interesting how much I remembered. I knew where the dips in the trail were, I knew in the super dark section where the trail went off camber. It was actually really cool to experience. Overall the 54 minutes run flew by. I guess that's because I was absolutely enjoying the run. I can't wait to do it again some time.

It's a good life....

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Gluten Free

I haven't been too public about this recently but I went Gluten free the last week of September. I didn't do it because of any know allergies. I did it because I believe it's the right thing to do for the long term health of my body. I'll write more about this as I continue down this path. The results speak for themselves:

Training Volume unchanged.
Before weight: Consistent 153lbs.
Today weight: 147 lbs

It's a good life....


Float - To glide across the earth without bounce, without strain and with purpose.

Marco and I have been working on Float. It's very important in running to float. Every runner from time to time does not float. It wasn't until my last trip to china that I found my float. I noticed recently while Marco was running that he was bounding. We had a workout given by his coach recently to run 600m repeats. We ran side by side and focused on float. The more he found his float the faster he ran. There was a father on the track watching his daughter play field hockey. He said in amazement "I've never seen a kid that young run like that, it is beautiful". Float.

Today I lost my running float. Probably something to do with traveling across the US, the Atlantic and half of Europe. Hopefully it's back tomorrow.

But float is not just running. Float should be life. Glide across the earth without bounce, without strain and with purpose.

It's a good life....


Monday, November 15, 2010

Off to Germany

We moved to Germany 4 years ago and it was our second time to the country. We moved back just over a year ago and now I can't seem to stay away. I never had a reason to go to Germany and now I go at least twice a year. It's funny how life comes around like that. It's not rough this time. The Bavarian Alps await.

It's a good life....

WWPD - 2011 Goals

Based on the crazy year I've had, one in which I'm happy to put behind me I've taken a different approach to my goals. My Dad (Papi) is not here to provide input but I sure can use his life as a guide to what would make the most impact on my life. So the goals are titled WWPD (What Would Papi Do) goals.
Marriage - Simply put my goal is to put Mary first in everything I do. Through all the things flying around if Mary goes first we all win. She deserves that kind of attention and she will get it.
Marco - We are going to learn something together. We'll work on it this winter and by spring we'll make it ours. It will really be up to him. I know what I want to learn but if it's not what he wants we won't do it.
Money - Save, Save and Save. Our current savings rate is about 15% of our income. My goal is to get it closer to 25% of my income. In this world where we are lucky to have a job, a 25% savings is the smart thing. To do this I'm going to have to cut some of the things I take for granted. More on this as the year goes on. Any suggestions would be great.
Motivation - Papi spent the last 20 years of his life continually refining his faith. I think I need to do the same thing and first up may be that I define it. Then I need to continually refine it. I think this leads me to question it all. I can say right now that I don't define myself by a religion. Some heavy research is needed here. Some help or direction from others is welcome.
Me - I split me into two places that matter most.
1. Competition - I can't lie, I still want to compete. Last year I did zero in this world. At the end something had to give. My "Fitness" didn't give but I did no racing. So in 2011 I plan to do an Ironman and to do well in it. What that mean's is I have to cross the line and feel like I gave it everything and the results show. I also have to do this in the scope of everything here. I've been known in my younger days to put this first. That will not get me anywhere.
2. Relationships - This is one Papi was a master of. He had more personal relationships then anyone I know. I have 360 or so friends on my Facebook page but I don't know how many are truly personal. That needs to change. So my goal is to develop relationships all year long. This is probably the biggest stretch for me. Personal is the hard part. I have lots of relationships but personal is not what I would call them.
Now if I read this as Papi I think he would sign up for it. Put family first, take care of your money, build relationships and realize you are just a part of something bigger.
It's a good life...