Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Ode to Scout


You came into our lives a scared 6 month old puppy. It was clear that you had been mistreated in your first 6 months of life and it was our goal to give you the life you deserved. What you did was give us a life we didn't know we could have.

Thanks for your tireless effort to make us laugh and to love.  I admire your courage over the last week. You showed grace and caring when you needed us most.  Most of all thanks for your Non-Stop protection and love for Marco. Friends for life......

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Best Decision of My Life

Photo Credit, Paul Huddle

It was Spring 1985 when my college (Southern Illinois University) roommates talked me into doing a triathlon. I was a runner, worked as a lifeguard at the pool and road my bike everywhere. They said it would be perfect for me. The water was 52 degrees, my hands and feet were frozen trying to tie my shoes out of the swim, I warmed up on the bike and then ran hard passing 25 people or so to finish 13th overall. I was hooked.

That summer I came to California to spend time with my Dad. It was that summer when I met Paul Huddle (Back Left).  I had triathlon on my mind and San Diego was the place for Triathlon. The day I graduated college a year later I moved to California to chase a dream. I wanted to train with the best triathletes in the world. If I hadn't done that, I wouldn't have met Mary. If I hadn't done that I wouldn't be the shoe guy that I am. If I hadn't done that my life would have turned out differently.

A few of the characters as I see them.

Paul Huddle ( - Stud athlete and Stud Runner. Always a factor in Kona in those days. Most popular triathlete in Japan probably ever. We were riding home on a Tuesday in 1989 from Swim workout. Tuesday looked like this, Tuesday Run (pictured above), Stuff Food, Hop on bike for 12 miles to the pool, masters swim session, ride home, sleep. Anyway we are on our way home when Paul asked me why I wasn't at work. I told him that I had quit my job the day before. He turned to me and said "do you want to sell shoes, we need someone at Cal Stores" I went in that afternoon, interviewed and have been working in the shoe business ever since. It was also through Cal Stores that I met Mary.

Tim Sheeper - Blue Shirt (Team Sheeper) Tim was one of my roommates at the time of this picture. He was a pro triathlete, worked at the first ever triathlon store called Tri-Action Sports in Leucadia, CA. We had a good time living in Leucadia, training all day, working all night and then doing it again. Tim married one of our other roommates Lisa and now lives in the Bay area.

Mark Montgomery (Monte) - Far right in the picture flexing his arm. Monte was the first pro I really wanted to meet. He was legendary in triathlon. A fairly big dude who could swim and ride really fast. He had and has a huge personality to match his performance. Monte was an innovator with his friend Dan Emphield ( Monte opened the first tri store in the country, Tri-Action Sports and always had the first triathlon inventions for us to test out. Monte had a big problem though. He couldn't finish in Kona. Each year he qualified and in each year he failed to finish. His stories of collapse are awesome party stories. In 1988 he, Tim and I trained together for Kona and in that year we all finished the race for the first time. Monte always one to give advice said this to me as I passed him going up famous Pay n Save hill in the marathon, "Dave slow down, this isn't a 10K" Although he was right because I paid for the hard pace later, I still laugh that he was giving me Ironman advice in the race. I looked over at him and said "Just finish this one Monte".

Dr. Joel Thompson - Right Back Row - Badass runner. Gave Kenny Souza all he could handle in the Duathlon. Showed up from time to time to just make all of us look silly. One of the nicest people you'll ever meet. He's a Hand Surgeon in the Phoenix, Area.

The Bukinghams - Wally and Wayne (the two up front leaning in) - freaking talented athletes and always good for a laugh. It was not unheard of to have your shorts dropped to your ankles by one of these guys while you were waiting for running to start. Today you'll see them at Cardiff Reef every Tuesday and Thursday paddling out on their paddle boards. They've gone from running to triathlon to paddle board racing and they've been stand out athletes at every sport.

Scott Tinley - (holding the Surf picture) - Part of the Big 4 of triathlon. Scott Tinley, Dave Scott, Scott Molina and Mark Allen. These four defined the sport on the men's side for years.  What Scott and the other three taught me is that they were real people. They were on the cover of magazines, on TV regularly and were normal guys. It was ok to be in awe of their talent and they made it ok for us to have a good time running on Tuesdays, riding on Wednesdays and racing on the weekends.

Those were great times and shaped who I am today. Runner, Triathlete, Shoe guy and most of all husband/father. A decision to move west to chase a dream.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Change it Up

Recently my wife and I have been going to a hot yoga class. I wanted something we could do together. She goes for the workout and I go to get lost in the work. I find it increasingly relaxing to sweat with a bunch of strangers. My goal is to do it with my eyes closed. I can't completely do that but I am close. The point is I love the change of pace. The meditative state, the time with Mary and the exceptional feeling I have when I am done.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sweet Beat App Follow Up

Yesterday my plan was to run 60 minutes with 20 minutes of tempo and strides at the end. My HRV on Sweet Beat was low in the 70s which indicated a tired worn out body. I opted to cut the run short, do no tempo and do the strides. That was a good move because I felt better after this.
Later in the afternoon I jumped into masters swimming. I got there late and the only lane with fewer than 5 people was the second to fastest lane. The distances were short and the swimming was IM so I figured I could sit at back and cruise. But masters is an interesting place. I have never seen so many fearfully people. I jumped into the pool with the warm up set in progress. Once that was done it was time for the main set. It consisted of for sections each containing a majority stroke. The first section was Breast Stroke and nobody lease wanted to lead. So the guy who is swimming in the faster lane than normal with a short warm up (me) led. After that effort I say 2nd or 3rd with someone on my feet the entire time. All of the guys in this lane are swimmers and have been for life. I was pushing my current swim fitness level.

Today I woke up, did my test and what do you know, my HRV is even lower and I feel it so any planned workout it scrapped. Only an easy spin to wake up the legs is on tap. Deep breathing and laughter is my goal all day.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Mobile App: Sweet Beat

A few weeks ago I told you about an app on my phone called stress doctor. Well I upgraded to a new and better app called Sweat Beat

What makes it different?

Heart Rate Variability (HRV)

Heart Rate is not a static measure. Your HR goes up and down as you breath as well as walk, talk etc. HRV is the measure of this.  Finnish researchers determined for athletes that the higher the variability the better. And that a low HRV would indicate stress and for an athlete and that means disaster. Excessive stress leads to bad races or even injury.

So each morning I strap on a chest strap and measure my HR. Right now I am simply looking for consistency. My HR over the last few mornings has averaged 42 and my HRV has averaged 81. I will look for signs of both higher avg HR but even more at a lower average HRV. Today for instance my HRV measures at 74 which tells me I should be cautious. My run is planned for 20 minutes warm up, 20 minutes tempo, 20 minutes easy 10 strides. The low HRV says I should maybe remove the tempo or remove the run all together. Today I will run and feel what I feel. The idea is to find out where that low indication is right or what is too low. I will report back.

Heart Rate training has always baffled me. I have found that the best use for me is to monitor easy workouts when the lowest heart rate is better. Outside of that I have found perceived exertion works best for me. My internal effort meter works better than HE Zones. Everyone is different in this case but maybe not on HRV and that's why I really like Sweat Beat.

Monday, August 19, 2013

I Want to be Your Coach

I sit here with lots of experience as an athlete and a coach. As an athlete I have finished 8 different Ironman races run the Catalina Marathon twice the Berlin Marathon and a couple races beyond the marathon. Anyone I have coached has set personal records every time out. Qualifying for Boston, breaking 3:30 for the marathon, doing a first triathlon, and running western states. But all of that coaching was done for free and I certainly don't feel qualified to charge for my services. It's easy to write a training program for someone. It's easy to give advice that gets someone to the finish line. It's really hard to look at an athlete and individualize the coaching based on what works best for that athlete. Running and triathlon are individual sports and there are as many ways to coach as there are individuals. There is no one plan that works for all.

Why am I talking about this. We had friends over for dinner the other night who are performance trainers/coaches. They have years of training and years of experience doing what they do. It would be knock on them if I hung out my coaching shingle.

Case in point. My one coaching failure is my wife. When I coached her she got injured and had poor results. Since I stopped and she started doing her  own thing, all she does is set records. Do you know what works for her?  Running the same pace every run and running often. How would I figure that out?

So when you search for a coach don't just talk to the coach. Ask talk to successes and to failures and find out if you would fit based on what you hear.

Now if you need help with your running injury, running form or running shoes, hit me up. I have a wealth of experience there.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Tender Greens

It's nice to find a new gem you didn't know about. First my simple healthy diet.

  1. No sugar
  2. No grains
  3. Plant Based veggie first 
  4. Grass Fed and seafood
Looking for a place to eat is always a fun adventure. Last night we went to the movies. $14.95 for a movie? Arch Light Theaters reserved seating, coffee bar, stadium seating with massive screens. 

We got out of the movie and I was starving. We walked towards the food court in the mall. We came upon Tender Greens and this is what we found.

  1. Grass Fed Beef
  2. Veggie based menu
  3. Fast Service
  4. Young knowledgeable staff
  5. A good selection of micro brews

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Ironman Lake Tahoe Training Update

Coming off a big week of riding last week I new the start of this week would be challenging. First the week that was last week.

6 days and 11 hours on the bike
4 days on the feet
4 days in the water

Adding to the challenge for this week was a mid afternoon flight to Dallas Monday for a 2 hour meeting today. Sunday night after 5 hours on the bike the new sick lab started crying and convulsing at 1am so she and I spent the rest of the night on the couch. Ok she wasn't on the couch but she might as well have been. 

The morning was easy with a tired swim and then drive to the airport. I had soup for lunch at 3 pm in San Fransisco. Then it was a 3 hour flight on a small plane to Dallas. By the time I got to Dallas everything was closed. I ended up having Tuna on crackers for dinner at 11:30pm. 

Up at 6 this morning I was out the door to run by 6:30. My legs were dead my head was dizzy and I was starving. Last night on the plane I read You Only Faster by my friend Greg McMillan and got inspired. 25 minutes into my "run" I found grass and threw down 10 x 100 meter perfect form fast as possible strides. That was exactly what I needed. My legs got the snap back and my head and stomach forgot about food and stuff. 

Back home tonight satisfied that I am on track and managing fine.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Gluten Free does not mean Taste Free

If the bread package or the box says gluten free it's a good bet it will also be taste free. The reason for most of this I believe is because you go gluten free but then try to eat what you have always eaten just in gluten free form. Let's face it gluten filled bread is better and to take it one step further go to Europe and then you'll decide that they have the best gluten filled bread in the world.

15 years ago we were thrown into this gluten free thing. Mary was just not feeling right and at times was doubled over in pain. We tried everything and then one day she worked with a naturalist Dr. He did his tests and said to her, "your body probably doesn't accept gluten". He asked her to test the theory. Go gluten free for a month then one day eat a pizza. Mary did that and literally passed out in front of me. From that day on she has been gluten free. Think about it. 15 years ago there was no gluten free bread.

As we have seen the gluten free stuff come out we've tried it all. Most of it is tasteless and because of the ingredients used (maybe one day a write up on why being healthy costs so much) wehav chosen to stay away and just stick to real food.

This resource just came on my radar and it's great. Gluten free does not mean Taste free. Put this blog in your follow list and try the recipes out. You will not be disappointed.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Lost Dog - What to do

Last night or newly rescued lab bolted after something when I wasn't't looking. We were out in the park and the next thing I knew was that I had two leashes and only one dog to attach them to. I quickly put Scout the older dog in the house and started searching. I less then 15 minutes she was gone. Nobody had seen her and she was out of sight. Niki is new to us and that makes her new to the neighborhood. I ran around the park then got in the car and started a search widening the circle each time around. By this time I had many others looking too. No luck!  So what did I do to find her.

  1. I quickly made flyers and distributed them around our park and the other dog parks in the area. I even put one up at Starbucks because dog people drink coffee.
  2. I called the shelter help line and gave a description and her chip number.
  3. I put a notice on Craig's list.
  4. Because we rescued Niki the group posted on Facebook. 
  5. Then I tried not to panic.
At 8:30 this morning a full 15 hours later my phone rang. It was the Shelter people. A woman had called in the tag on her collar and reported that she had the dog. 15 minutes later Niki was home. The woman's 17 year old daughter was out running at 10:30 pm and found Niki. Amazingly in 5 hours she didn't go very far. Literally about 1/4 mile from the house. The girl took her home and the rest is history. 

All day my phone rang with concerened people making sure Niki was safe. Most of the calls coming from Starbucks. Yesterday nobody new Niki. Today all of Cardiff knows her.