Friday, August 29, 2014

Five for Friday: Change is Good

"Every day the bucket goes to the well, One day the bottom will drop out"...... Bob Marely

The theme for today is doing the same thing over and over and expecting things to be different. The Bob Marely quote in I Shot the Sherriff speaks loudly to me right now. Doing the same thing day in and day out and one day it will just break. We need to change it up. So here's my top 5 ways to change it up.

  1. Meditation - It's new to me so I don't begin to fully understand the impact but I'll try here. In easy to do Breath Awareness meditation you sit for your desired length of time and focus on your breath. Every time you mind wanders and it will, you bring focus back to your breath. I've found myself often recently bringing focus to a situation quickly. Where in the past I would get emotional and animated I don't do it. I quickly asses what is important and focus on that. The only reason I can find to that new found calm is the 5-10 minutes each day sitting in meditation. What's the most interesting to me is I can sit on the floor and get mauled by our chocolate lab Niki. Sit on the floor in meditation and she senses what I'm doing and leaves me alone. Think about that for a second. An Animal who doesn't have our brain senses the calm and remains calm.
  2. Shock the System - Arnold talks about his early body building days where he learned to constantly shock his body to get results. He didn't do arm curls over and over and over again to get those arms. He shocked his arms with different movement with different weight with different cadence. This applies to your fitness goals. Do the same thing over and over again and you won't see change. My wife Mary does the same thing most of the time. Recently she started a belly dancing class. Instant change!
  3. Quite Your Job - I know it's not for everyone and it's really scary. Believe me I'm sweating bullets each day wondering if I made the right decision. But at the same time it's really liberating. I'm relaxed and energized right now and ready for the new challenge that I know I'll find.
  4. Walk Away - I'm so lucky to live in Cardiff by the Sea with the Pacifi Ocean just minutes away but my ocean is your nature trail, country road or mountain meadow. When the stress of the day builds up, walk away. I was always one to stay and fight the stress. Use food or coffee to fight it.  I've come to taking walks on the beach in the middle of the day and it's so refreshing. If I'm dead tired and cranky I walk away and come back calm and energized. It's different then meditation in that there is blood flow and fresh clean air. Sometimes I even combine and sit on the beach and do the meditation in the middle of the walk.
  5. Stop Consuming - Oh my this has been liberating. I sat down a few weeks back and penciled out how much money I needed to make for us to maintain our life. The basics, food, water, shelter. It came out to less than half of my previous annual salary. So then I looked at where the rest of the annual salary was going. We were consuming (It didn't all go to consumption at huge portion went to long term saving). After that exercise I stopped consuming. Where swiping my debit card was just easy to do, I've gone days without a single swipe. I don't need to do this, we have money and I have time to get back on the work bus. The point is I forced myself the change a habit and it has been liberating.

It's a good life.....

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Becoming a Man

While I'm on leave from working I've decided to take on my life as a man. I've been dabbling in this for most of my life and doing some heavy lifting in becoming a better man made sense at this time. As you can see I've learned to break my life into 4 parts and to really work on what I want in these 4 areas of my life. This practice comes courtesy of The New Man Podcast.

The Body - This one is fairly easy but also difficult to execute correctly with age.
  1. I want to continue to be strong 
  2. I want to be supple
  3. I want to stay lean
  4. I value clean eating
The Mind - My Relationship with Myself - We all have a voice in our head. There is no way not to have one. There are two ways to go about the voice in our head, change the voice or quiet the voice. Most of what I've studied through the years is change the voice through positive self talk and clear purpose. I worked a lot this year on the other tool, quieting the voice. I've found quieting the voice to be a much better tool. To quiet I've been practicing meditation daily. It's an amazingly good tool to quiet the voice. The end result is that I like myself more and more and I'm a great deal calmer all around. There is great work to be done in this but I'm confident I'm on the right path. I'm really interested in actually studying in meditation.

Relationship with Others
Through a quiet mind I believe my relationship with others will blossom. I understand that I can be a tough guy to get through and that's not what I want to be. I want to be the guy you can trust, the guy you can lean on, and the guy you want to have around the table. I know for sure at least for me, I have to be right with my own mind for this to work out.

Work in the World
This has been the most fun work over the last 4 weeks. I have options to stay put in San Diego, avoiding flights and heavy travel. I have options to completely set my own schedule and I have options to keep the schedule I was on only with a different brand. I'm in no hurry right now and my decision will be based on what really matters to me. The three above are really important so whatever I do for work will have to fit into the three above. This I know.

It's a good life....

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Weekend Report - Santa Barbara Triathlon and More

Quote "OOH" - Body Marking Girl when I told her my age

A few things I learned from the Santa Barbara Triathlon

  1.  My Swim sucks - For the life of me I can't figure out why my swim in the pool is so strong and in a wetsuit in open water I suck.
  2. That bike course is totally fun to ride but it is one hard ride too.
  3. Test your running shoes, test again and test again. I ran in these shoes 3-4 times on various different runs and had no issues. During the race my left foot felt like it had a rock in it the entire way. No matter what I did it was there. I have my theories and one of them is that it's my foot and not the shoe with the problem. We'll see when I resume running again this week.
  4. Strength - I said last Friday that I view strength long term. Clearly it's the right strategy and clearly I have more work to do. I look around the transition at the faster 50 year olds and they all have a great deal more muscle mass than I do. Look at #1 and maybe I'm not strong enough, look at #2 and although I rode really well, the tough course took the spirit out of my legs. At mile 8 on the run my strength was gone. It's a sure sign that strength is a weakness and one I know I need to work on for sport and for life.
  5. To the guy who set up next to me in Transition. Yes my bike was gone when you got to your bike. Yes my bike was there when you got back into transition. Yes that was me heading back on the run in fact you even said "There you are". I had you worried didn't I? Blame my idiocy that was confirmed by the starter on the beach. I read Men 40+ in wave #1. Apparently that was for those who asked to be in wave #1 with the Elites. When I asked the starter to confirm that all men 40+ were in wave #1 she confirmed. I didn't even know until after the race that there was a separate start. You won the age group but you already know that. We'll have a laugh about it next time.
Traffic - Remind me to take the train. Yes the train is slow but at least on the train I can do things. I take that back a little because to pass the time in the car I listed to a great podcast. For some reason my random selection of Rich Roll Podcasts always hits on a winner. Maybe all of his podcasts are great but I doubt it. This one however is one worth listening to Rich Roll and Dan Harris. It took me 5 hours to get home. That's a bit crazy anytime but even crazier after racing hard. Thanks Rich for some inspiration.

It's a good life...

Friday, August 22, 2014

Five For Friday: Fit Past 50

The other day I showed up to a run. It was a run I hadn't done in years so I didn't really know anyone. Some quick introductions were made and of course because it's a competitive run, age was asked. When I said 50 the 50 plus boys were excited to have another on the run. Then there was the young 32 year old teacher. He said "That body looks like it's been treated well and used often"

When I was younger I was always amazed with the 50 year olds at the pool or on the roads.  They had a swagger about them and they didn't bother with too much chat. They got to work quickly and worked really hard. I always thought I wanted to be just like them when I'm 50.

I didn't hit 50 in the best of shape. Yes I was fit but I was dealing with some major back pain, had to pull out of a race and just felt like crap most days. I've done some things over the last month to fix that feeling and I can feel I'm back on the road to feeling great. What I've found at 50 is that small things can turn badly much quicker. That was a wake up call for sure and I intend to listen more closely to what my body is telling me. If it says rest, I'm going to rest. If it feels good to go hard I'm going to go hard. I'll admit to getting away with going hard when the body says rest in the past.

With that said here are the 5 things I do every day to make sure I can stay fit at 50 and well past.

  1. Sleep - Of course, I'm old right. I was talking to my 75 year old uncle the other night. He's always been the one with the most energy. Uncle Fred was the guy. He says, "I go to bed between 7:30 and 8:00pm and wake up at 4:00am without an alarm. If I go to bed at 11:00pm I wake up at 4:00am. I just feel great when I'm getting more sleep" He also told me that the day before he shot his best round of golf on his home course ever. I need to say no more about sleep.
  2. Wake up routine - Glass of water, Glass of Amino Acids, Good Morning Body Routine taught to me by my friend Chris, Coffee (Bullet Proof if there is a planned workout), Journaling. This generally takes 30 minutes.
  3. Go Hard - After talking to enough people over the years and reading enough on the subject the older you get the more you need to incorporate some hard efforts. I found this out in my 40's when the more MAF pacing I did the slower I became. An example of going hard is a standard 30 minute swim. 7-10 X 200 yards on 3:30. I get in the pool and the first 200 is my warm up. So I hit the wall in 3:15. I do a kick set which is really hard to do in 3:30 and then I pull a 200. The next 4 - 7 200's are as fast as I can with the goal of each one faster than the previous. The last 200 is cool down. It's short and it's really intense.
  4. Variety - My goal is to be able to jump into anything I want. So variety is my key. I'm running with the runners, I'm swimming somewhere, pool or ocean. My riding is done with others or it's incorporated into my day. Riding to the store, riding to the pool, riding to work (right now that's not in the cards but it will be soon). I paddle 2-3 days a week, I Mountain Bike (going to need a new bike soon) a day or two a week. Put it all together I'm doing something every day and there's lot's of variety build in.
  5. Strength - I look at strength long term. I want to be strong for 25-30 more years so I'm taking the approach of doing some strength work daily and doing two key sessions weekly. Daily while walking the dog I'll do body weight squats, I'll do single let lifts on the picnic tables, I'll do box jumps on the picnic table. I may stop in the middle of the day after sitting for a long time and do 15 Burpees. Nothing intense just reminders. The two key sessions right now are all high intensity. I'm sweating heaving and burning muscle.

I'm confident that I will remain fit doing these 5 things. There is a great deal more to FIT than just working out. You have to eat well, have love in your life, continue to want to learn through books or something else and having a happy dog helps too.

It's a good life.....

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Running: The Least Amount of Shoe Possible

I was listening to a podcast on Endurance Planet that got me thinking. The main topic of the podcast was whether or not it was possible to run a sub 2 hour marathon and if so how would it get done. There is a new book by Phil Maffetone in which he details out the high probability that we will see a sub 2 hour marathon soon.

What I found most interesting is that Phil said the athlete would probably run barefoot. He made the claim that the athlete who does this will probably be from Africa and that these guys run barefoot their entire life and it's because of shoe contracts that they wear shoes. There is a great deal of truth to this. In early 2001 I visited Eldoret, Kenya for 2 weeks. While there I  visited and ran with the best of the best runners. I visited three different running camps, watched a kids race and then watched the Kenya National Cross Country race. I saw guys running barefoot, I saw guys running in Chuck Taylors, I saw guys running in soccer shoes and I saw guys running in running shoes. Most of the running shoes as you can guess were either through contract or through donation. Personally I brought shoes to give away.

These runners grow up running bare foot but they do so on soft surfaces. The roads we ran on were dirt. We ran on trails that meandered through the hillsides. I don't ever remember touching pavement on a run. When the lucky few leave the running camps to race in Europe or the USA yes they are given shoes to run in but they choose to do so. You have to remember most don't go into the marathon, most start on the track. Once you get the feel of a tight spike on our foot, you aren't going back to running barefoot. So as they progress to the roads they choose what every runner in the world should choose:


For most of them that mean's Bacon Strips. Shoes that have just enough EVA to protect and nothing else. Average weight is under 6 oz. They fit like a track spike and they are one with the foot.

So knowing that we are not Kenyan born runners, we can still take on the idea of Least Amount of shoe. Work on running form do drills and strides often and continually push to less and less shoe. You'll find that you'll come to a happy place in your shoe choice. If that happy place is Bacon Strips than we will see you at the front of the race soon enough.

It's a good life.....

Monday, August 18, 2014

The High School Runner - Ironman Training - Long Running and Family

Do you remember high school when upper classmen would graduate and move away? Our son Marco since he was a freshman has made friends with the upper classmen mostly through running but in other ways too. On Saturday he and another gave a farewell send off to one of their buddies. They did this by inviting him on a 14 mile run. Now the Boost Boys (as they were called last year) are down from 5 to 2. It was sad for Marco to say goodbye. It is awesome to watch him grow in front of my eyes.

That's Marco on the right and the graduate on the left before the run.
Here they are 14 miles later. Happy to be done, a bit tired and a bit bummed to be saying goodbye.
That afternoon my friend Shawn who is training for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii asked me to ride with him. I'm never one to shy away from a long ride especially when it's helping someone prepare for the big race. The only problem was Shawn couldn't go until noon, on a very hot Saturday afternoon. But ride we did and 5 hours later we were wind blown and exhausted. Highlights included putting Shawn in the front in the big wind and saying "this is Kona wind". We got flipped off by a woman on the back of a motorcycle. I guess she didn't like our skinny butts in the middle of the share lane (You know the lane where bikes have right of lane). Then we hooked up with another rider for about 5 miles. It was nice for me to get a break from being in front most of the day. The only issue is he was a big boy and when he pulled I could see nothing but his back in front of me.
Quick change and Mary, Marco and I were off to Hillcrest a funky fun community of San Diego where  we had dinner with a former student of Mary's. We had a great dinner at a Spanish Tapas bar and then had outstanding Gelato to cap the night off. I was so hungry I ate three Tapas on my own.
We were playing around with Mary telling her hair was messed up. I took this picture while she was using my phone as a mirror. She is just as stunning today as the day I met her.
Sunday is long run day. I've been meeting a group to start the run and as I showed up I was trashed and not really looking forward to run. But then my friend Greg showed up and everything was good. We had run the previous week together and we were both happy to do the same run again today. Solid pace but easy enough to talk, laugh and have a general good time. The run went by fast and it was good to get it done. It's hot in San Diego county right now and what is typically a moderate temperature run was filled with heat and humidity. I drank three bottles of water after the run to cool down and hydrate.
Sleep was simply outstanding Sunday night.
It's a good life... 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday Five Update on Life

Step #1 in getting out of your little world: Show Your Vulnerability - Tripp Lanier - The New Man Podcast

  1. My computer crashed over a week ago which is why you have not heard from me. It was about time on that computer. I bought while living in Germany and it got used.
  2. For four years I was forced to own Zoot. Not literally but because of the set up with the parent company there was no day to day leadership at Zoot. I knew from experience that leadership is not a title and anyone can lead so I took it upon myself to lead the brand. Just over a year ago after multiple urging from myself and others at Zoot a General Manager was brought in to lead the brand. I thought I could work in that situation but I think it's like the owner trap. When you sell your business out of need or want the owner usually lasts a year in the company before they decide to leave. Some are forced out but most leave on their own because they feel like they don't belong any longer. I fell into that owner trap.
  3. The daily question is "What are you going to do?" I've spent the last three weeks on that. Let's just say for now that the options are wide and each one has a bit of excitement to it. As soon as my decision is made you'll know about it. That being said, if you read this regularly and feel like contacting me for my expertise leave a comment or find me on Facebook and let's talk. Nobody in the running shoe business has my experience. There are many that have like experiences but nobody has the complete experience I have. I'm confident that experience is worth something to someone for something.
  4. The side benefit of not working is extreme fitness. It's not all swim bike run fitness either. I'm on the paddle board often, in the water snorkeling often and just spending more time doing stuff than not doing stuff. For running you'll find me at the Sunday run at 8:00am out of Cardiff and Monday night at Moving Shoes or Cardiff
  5. The ALSicebucketchallenge is growing. If you have a Facebook account you've seen it. It's interesting to me that I have not been challenged but I'm sure it's coming. You may or may not know but on April 1, 2013 my brother Bob was diagnosed with ALS. It has progressed very rapidly. Today he sits in a hospital bed in the living room of his house. He has no movement in any body part but his eyes. He can't speak, which makes communicating very difficult. He has little to no facial expression. His two boys and his wife take care of him. They feed him through a tube and wipe his ass for him. An Hospice Nurse visits him daily to look after his health and give him a bath. His mind is 100% intact. That's write his mind is 100% aware of what's going on, it it's thinking normal and it's emotional yet he can't share it. So I urge you to participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge either through the ice or through your wallet. This is a terrible disease. Nobody ever survives it and mentally they 100% know what's going to happen. It's terrible. We need to find a cure or at least the cause of ALS.

It's a good life....

Monday, August 11, 2014

Running Like Life

The 4 qualities of a good runner by Mark Wetmore in Running With The Buffaloes(one of the best running stories ever written):

  1. Talent
  2. Durability
  3. Desire
  4. Courage
I look at these and believe they apply to anything you do in life.

Clearly some are meant to be husbands and some are not. Once you decide to become one you need the desire to stay true and the durability to withstand the rough spots. Finally you need the Courage to risk it all on being a great husband. The odds are clearly against it so courage may be the big quality. 

You can apply this to work and so much more. 

It's a good life...

Friday, August 8, 2014

Time to Rest

In the last week I have been gifted a few quotes.

"Dave you need to rest, take a break" - when it doesn't feel like work why would I need a break from it? Yes there is room for rest improvement but flying around the world to build a brand is not tiring work. It can actually be quite energizing.

"I have no time to take a break I thought it would get easier but it does not, it just keeps getting harder" - This from a sales rep with the hottest brand on the market. That's a person that does not love his work.

"Do you know how old that man is? He's 91" - this after the 91 year old ran through the locker room encouraging his older set buddies to get fired up about their up coming swim.

You can control your attitude and your activity. Don't throw your tired overworked attitude on me, I will have none of it. A positive attitude and positive activity may just get you to a happy healthy 91. At least that's my attitude.

It's a good life....