Monday, August 24, 2015

My Sunday Ride

Saturdays I spend my mornings watching all the cyclists ride by as I teach and encourage runners. It's a bit frustrating to see all those bikes and not be able to join in. But then Sunday comes around and all is good again.

This is one of the main roads east out of Encinitas. 6 days a week this road is jammed with cars. As you can see it's 3 lanes each way and it's generally freeway speeds as people race to get somewhere. On Sunday it's empty. Nobody is in a hurry and the air is clear.

Yesterday my ride of 2 hours took me to the top of Double Peak. It's a long climb (20 minutes or so) and it gets steeper as it goes. No really, it gets steeper as it goes. It starts out in the 5% range and finishes in the 17% range. My program for the climb was 3 minutes standing, 3 minutes sitting start to finish. I don't actually time it until I make the left turn to the park. Before that I use the stop lights as my timer. There are 6-7 stop lights on the climb. The great thing about Sunday is there is a high chance of going through clean. Yesterday I hit no red lights. Once you hit the left turn it's stoplight free. The next 9 minutes that cover about 1/3 of the distance are the real test. There is no easy way to the top it's simply how much can you grind and suffer. I had two segments standing and 1 segment sitting. That means the sitting was on the steepest section of the hill. My legs were burning.
The payoff is sometimes grand and sometimes just ok. Yesterday it was just ok looking west. That cloud bank is covering the coast. On a good day you can see out to the Channel Islands.

I generally don't spend too much time at the top. Yesterday it was about 30 seconds. Long enough to get this picture. It was nice to meet up with a couple friends at the top. We road home together then I continued on to make my 2 hours. The down was just as clear as the up. We hit no red lights from top to bottom and with no cars we got to use the entire road. It was outstanding.

Southern California Riding can be hairy with all the cars. Cars turning in front of you, car doors opening, and worst of all is folks on the cell phones drifting into the bike lane. It's nice to get out the door on a Sunday morning and ride open roads close to home. It's a treat worth the wait.

It's a good life......

Friday, August 21, 2015

Five Things to Keep Calm

My exterior is always calm. In fact a woman I work with called me quirky. I asked her why and she said " you are always calm". It's my exterior. Inside not so much. Inside my mind is always racing. Working three different "Jobs", raising a child and staying married for 22 years will do that to you. Finding calm to quiet the mind and quiet the nerves is always a challenge. This is what I've found that works:

Dogs can add stress for sure but this one lowers the stress all the time. All I have to do is sit down on the floor. Her warmth and loving nature take over.

Playing the Guitar - If you play an instrument you are lucky. It's magical the way music can change the mood and physically making the music happen is extra special.

Singing along to music. I still love being in the car when one of those special songs comes on. Volume goes up!

Stretching and mobility - If you are doing it correctly, finding the tight spots and working them out you can't do anything but concentrate on that instant. The daily 15 minutes is magical.

We are lucky to live by the beach. Sitting on the cliff at sunset and allowing the warm of the Sun to warm you is good. You don't need a beach for this. Sunsets happen everywhere and just soaking in those last rays is special. The one thing we have is the motion of the ocean. Just getting out on or in the water is spectacular. You can't help but feel alive and calm. I love casually going out to the kelp beds with my fins and mask spending 30 minutes diving down to see all the fish. Everything else leaves your head 20 feet below the surface of the ocean.

It's a good life.....

Friday, August 14, 2015

2 Reminders this Week

One: You can feel the signs, you can ignore the signs and you can pay for it. For two weeks I've had good runs and crappy runs. Yesterday it got to real crappy. Then I went to the chiropractor and he said yep you are off 3 degrees. Duh! 

Two: Our son has grown more this summer than any other time in his life. Not grown in size although he is ripped right now but emotionally. He said to me "If I trained last winter like I am right now I keep thinking of how the track season would have been different" I said "you know the saying, you can lead a horse to water? I've been nudging you for years because your talent is so evident but it was up to you." "I hope it's not too late" he said Oh how I feel for the other kids. They've been racing a kid who's been at 80% for 3 years. Maybe he gets to 95% of his talent this year as long as he stays healthy. 

It's a good life.....

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Knowing What You Want

On Monday two big things happened. The first and most important is the little boy in the pictures got sworn in to protect the Flag and Country. One year from today he'll ship out to boot camp of the United States Marine Corps. I often get asked how I feel about it. "Are you shocked by his decision" they ask. "How long has this been on his mind?"

  1. Since he was 5 years old he has wanted to be a Marine. 
  2. We didn't lead him there nor did we ever dissuade him from it. 
  3. He's 17 and he has made a decision. Can your remember when you were 17 or do you know a 17 year old? He made a decision and knows exactly what he wants to do. If all goes to plan in 20 years  he will retire from the Marines. How many 17 year old boys or girls know that right now? 
  4. There is no shock in our house. We knew this day was coming. The change in our son from the day he made the decision to today is overwhelming. He lives with absolute purpose today. 

Second on the big things is personal. I'm parasite free. I did a test to confirm it and the test came back negative on all counts. There is nothing bad in my gut right now. I've known for 7 years that things weren't right. For 7 years I fought through it pig headed and all. As I look back if I were living with purpose maybe it wouldn't have taken 7 years. 

When the father learns from the son. He's been teaching me a lot longer than I let anyone believe. At every stage of his life. 

It's a good life.....

Monday, August 10, 2015

Measuring Fitness

I was running the other day with a buddy of mine. We warmed up together and we met back up after the work part of the run. His work was a measured loop of the golf course. He ran it hard and covered it just slower then his peak fitness. I ran in my MAF HR window. When we got back together we resumed or regular banter. He was happy with his result and I was happy with his result and mine. 6 weeks ago I ran the same run or I should say the same time. This time I ran 1 mile further on the same effort. That's a good result.

I see these two boys daily on my way out the door. They provide good motivation to get out the door.

It's a good life.........

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Blood Sugar and Bacon Wrapped Avocado

As part of my body re-balance I've been asked to monitor my blood sugar. I now have great respect for those who's life depends on doing this.

I check my blood when I first wake up and then periodically through the day. According to my directive I should try to keep my blood sugar in the 80's and 90's. The simple math is the more carbohydrates I eat the higher my blood sugar goes. For instance if I eat rice at dinner with meat and veggies, my blood sugar at waking will be 125 or higher. If I just eat the meat and veggies it will be below 110 on waking. 

My protocol on waking is coffee with coconut oil. Within 1 hour of drinking it my blood sugar drops below 90. I can run for an hour come home and test and it will still be below 90. On big days, when I'm going to run 2 hours I ad butter to my coffee mix. My blood sugar stays the same buy my calorie intake goes super high. Currently during the hot summer months I can do that and only need water on the run. It's take me at least 18 months to figure this out. Only 3 months of actually measuring but 18 months to figure out what fuels me well. 

If I'm riding my bike I'll eat a "regular" breakfast.  

If I've ever said this, I'm the luckiest guy alive. My wife Mary puts up with me. We share the dinner preparation duties throughout the week but since she's not working or traveling this summer she's spent time trying new things out. 
This is Bacon wrapped Avocado. She bought precooked bacon. Wrapped the Avocado put some chili powder on them. Put them in the oven to crisp and served. I've never had cooked avocado but I will again. I made the salad to go with it and we had a feast. My fat intake on this one meal was high. I slept (9 hours) the best I've slept in 2 weeks. I woke up to a blood sugar at 101. 

It's a good life.....