Monday, August 21, 2017

High Intensity on the Bike

Today I went out on the bike during the eclipse to do some high intensity work. We have a great flat section of road in Fairbanks Ranch to perform the work. The overall ride was 2 hours and the workout looked like this:

8 x 30 seconds max effort.
2 on 4 min rest
2 on 3 min rest
2 on 2 min rest
2 on 1 min rest

I was absolutely cooked by the last one. I hit 174 on my heart rate on one of the efforts and 170 on all the rest.

As I was riding home I was trashed and zoning out. My mind was on other things. A cyclist came by me on one of the hills like I was standing still. It snapped me out of my thoughts and over the next mile I kind of chased him. I caught him and we started to chat. His workouts made mine seem casual.
He's training for the masters track worlds.

Friday he did motor pacing on the track at 45 miles per hour. Each time for 500 meters.
Today he was riding 85 miles at 18 miles/hour.
Tomorrow he's back on the track. From a standing start he gets up to speed. The moto comes by and then sits in. He chases it for 500 meters. They repeat this often. He's 53 years old.

It's a good life...

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Political Posts on Social Media

You may be asking yourself "Why is Dave posting political comments on Social Media lately?"

There are two reasons really:

  1. My wife is my usual outlet. In the house I sit slightly left of center and she sits really far left. If I happen to get upset with something our current President does or doesn't do my reaction is tame compared to hers. In fact you should read our Whatapp dicsussions. That said she's not here to talk to get it all out. 
  2. A number of family members sit quite right of center. In fact a recent dinner turned politics and I left with my mouth open in disbelief. Like what about objectifying women? "We've heard worse from men" What about Russia "There is noting with Russia". OK how about a lack of respect for the office he sits in "We like his freshness" 
So that's why I've become more vocal. 

It's a good life....


Monday, August 14, 2017

Running Sucks!



A couple posts ago I mentioned I was working on a new project. Actually over the past two weeks it's been two projects. On the market research front I'm building a database for all the work I've done and am going to do. With Berlin, Chicago, Kona and NYC still to come this year there is lots of research to do. But more to the point of this post. Over the last 20 or so years I have been helping runners solve problems. Many people have asked me to get into coaching. I've never really considered myself a coach but more problem solver.

A couple years ago Pete from Champion Factory contacted me and said he was going to send me his athletes who had running problems. Over that time I"ve developed a system from all the experience I have with athletes that seems to be working. Most of the athletes I have worked with call me the whisperer. I believe it comes from my listening skills. I simply ask a bunch of questions and then listen to the athlete as they answer. The entire time we are also running so I'm watching and listening to their form.

The bottom line I've come to is Running Sucks. It sucks until it doesn't and when it sucks it's dreadful and when it doesn't it's peaceful. My entire goal with my new project is peaceful running.

If you are interested in that side of my world visit FreeRunSpeed. For more rambling here about Life, Running, Triathlon, the US Marines and all the fun places my wife and I get to go keep coming back here.

It's a good life....

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Far Away Adventures

This has been going on for a year now. If you have followed along for awhile, we are an adventure family. In fact if you look through the archives you'll see that this was started when we lived in Germany or just shortly before we moved there. We are extremely patriotic for our country and at the same time we have a thirst for the world.

Almost exactly a year ago we shipped our son off to the Marines. It was a proud moment for all three of us and we knew he was in good hands. Mary came to me with an idea she had been working on. Thursday marks the "end" or actually the beginning. Let's go back.

In August of last year to make extra money Mary started tutoring. Imagine you need help in a language and there is a Dr. Jewell with a Doctorate in Language Aquisition on line willing to do some tutoring. She got so busy she had to turn people away. She worked 6 days a week. The only night off was Friday. All the while she was still teaching high school students full time. Her school salary went to the family. Her tutoring money went into the bank.
At the same time we both worked on cutting our expenses. We stopped going out to eat. We stopped going for coffee. We cut back on movies and other stuff. We sold stuff on eBay. Lot's of stuff.

Thursday she flies to Kazakhstan. There she will spend a few days adjusting to the time change and touring the country. He main goal is to visit a Gulag. Then she flys to Mongolia. She'll be there for almost 8 weeks. Her first 2-3 weeks will be teaching English on an organic farm where tourists go to work on the farm. The actual farm workers need to learn English to better communicate with the tourists. Then she heads to the Gobi Desert for 3-4 weeks. There she is teaching English at a school.

This starts a year of adventure for her as she takes a year sabbatical from her real job. More than likely there trip in my future with her for a time.

People ask me all the time, "what will you do when Mary is gone". There is lot's to do to get ready for the next round of research on races. Berlin, Chicago, Kona and NYC are on the horizon. There is also another project I'm working on that I'll announce soon. It's something I've been doing for years now and it's time to actually put it to the test instead of simply word of mouth.

If you have questions on how we saved for this adventure or any of the many adventures we go on hit me up in the comments. I'd be happy to share how we go through the budgeting process.

It's a good life.....


Monday, July 17, 2017

It's an Option to Make it Up, It's Required to Make it Down

That's the big learning from this past weekend on Mt. Whitney. It's the highest mountain in the lower 48 and it's not a joke of a climb. If you do it the way we did it's 22 miles round trip. The really important thing is that it's 22 miles and not 11 miles.

Roughly 10 days or so before the date we climbed, I was invited to climb. My climbing partner had the pass for the mountain and his planned climbing buddy had backed out. He had climbed Mt. Raineer and Mt Shasta previously. I had climbed nothing but easy day hikes over the years.  The only thing going for me was my fitness and my thirst for knowledge. I've read so many climbing books that I feel a kinship to climbers.

We started in the dark and the day opened to some of the most beautiful natural colors. 







Mirror Lake sits at 10,000 feet and is 4 miles into the climb. 


The next section began the more technical climbing. There are 12 total water crossings. You can't see it but the water is above my ankles. Yes, I chose to wear the Altra Superior. I had no foot issues so I consider it a success. 



There is of course beauty all along. The hard parts of this section were the 5 snow fields we had to cross. Those snow fields got us to 13,000 feet. 




There are two ways to get to the turn to the summit. They both take some work. The way we went was the wall called switchbacks. It's 99 switchbacks that go straight up the wall. There were also 3 precarious snow crossings. 







At the turn it's 1.9 miles to the summit. It's the longest 1.9 miles I've ever had. 2 hours long to be exact. The payoff was spectacular. 

On the way up, my climbing partner and I stayed together for the first 5 hours. This got us to roughly 1/2 way up the switchbacks. He started to feel the effects of the altitude and the effort and we agreed that I go ahead. By this time I had drunk 3.5 liters of water or electrolytes and I'm sure he had 10 ounces. I made it to the top of the switch backs and waited. I caught glimpse of him and realized he was an hour behind me. I had a decision to make. There were lots of climbers on the route below and based on our discussions, he would turn around or stop and wait if he felt the need. I went for the summit. 

At the summit I had some food, changed into dry socks and felt great. I headed down soon after meeting the mom and son who took the picture and the young woman hiking the PCT. The way down was much easier and much faster. In fact a young woman we met at 13,000 feet was spot on with her time prediction. We met her at 8:00am. She said it would take us 4 hours to climb up and 2 hours to climb down. I hit the summit at exactly 12:00pm. 

At 30 minutes into the descent I ran into my climbing buddy. I was surprised he had made it that far. I gave him as much encouragement I could to make the top. I told him it was only 1 hour away and that I would wait right where we were standing for him to come back. He asked me to summit with him and that was out of the question. He asked for some water which I gave him. I settled into the shade and he started moving. 2 minutes later he was back and done. He basically said "I have no energy left, let's head down" 

I had him lead so I could watch. It took us 2 hours to get to the top of the switchbacks. I would have been there 90 minutes before we arrived. In the nicest way I could I told him to stop and eat. Then I said "We have one goal and only one option and that is to make it down off this mountain" 

Down the switch backs it was more of the same but a little better. The food was kicking in to him and he was able to somewhat follow my pace. I kept the pace very slow. It took us 2.5 hours to get off the switchbacks. It took me 2 hours to climb them. 

From the the 13,000 foot camp I made some poor decisions that cost us some time. Once we found our way I put him in on front and followed his pace. You are only as fast as the slowest in a case like this and it was the safest way to go down. It was slow going. 

We made it down at 9:30pm a full 17.5 hours after we started. Although it was a very tough day it was totally worth it. My buddy went through all of the emotions of failure and by the bottom was in good spirits. We didn't talk much the last 4 hours of the hike but we did have some laughs in the car going back to the hotel. 

There were times on the way up that I sensed we were in for a day like this. The pace early seemed too fast. I was worried about his lack of water consumption. I ate about 3,000 calories he probably had 500. Boiled eggs are not calorie dense. Most of all though I think he just has a tough time in thin air. I don't. In fact the higher I went the better I felt. There is some fitness in there buy my Dad always said "You were born at 8,000 feet and it's in there when you need it". 

My suggestion for anyone that wants to climb. Take your time. Climb to the camp at 13,000 feet. Spend the night or two nights there. Then go for the summit. It gives you time to get used the thin air. It's simply beautiful up there and your hike to the summit is only 4 hours up and 2 hours down. Much easier then 8 hours up and 9.5 hours down.

The best comment came from a woman I met in the park across the street from home. She said after meeting her "You look like a climber!"

It's a good life.....

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Dear Mr. President

I won't put your name anywhere in this post. Your name shows up 30 or more times a day in everyone's life around the world. Don't let this fact cloud your brain. It's not your name causing the influx of media it's the office you sit in. Sure you were popular before becoming president but not as popular as the chair itself.

It is probably now too late. The recent email debacle with your son probably seals this possibility out but maybe not. There are two things you may still be able to do,  to save the office you sit in. Notice I'm not saying save your skin. The office is bigger than you,  remember.


  1. Admit whole heartedly that our #1 adversary in the world played havoc in our election. That's not admitting that they got you elected. It's simply denouncing the attack on our system. 
  2. Welcome a complete and full investigation into their actions. Put the full force of the DOJ on this issue and make sure it doesn't ever happen again. 
That's it. That's all you had to do. The entire country would (have) support you. Your mistake was thinking about yourself first. It's always been about you and that's your failing. It's not about you at all. 

It's a good life.....

Monday, July 10, 2017

Mountaineering Skills

I'm a huge fan of mountain climbing stories. Stories from famous climbers fill my book shelf. When I saw on the latest Mt. Whitney hiking update that this week you'll need crampons, an ice ax and mountaineering skills to make the top I was a little dismayed. I may love to read about high mountain adventures buy I'm in no way prepared to climb in high mountain conditions. Whitney is rated as a fairly easy climb. Not this year. Heavy snow fall this past winter has left a heavy snow pack and a slow melt.

The goal has changed. On Saturday we will hike as high as we can safely go.

It's a good life....

Thursday, July 6, 2017

First Vacation in Almost 3 Years

Never again will I go this long without taking real time off with the family to have fun and reflect. It was way too long and the stress that built up over that time became "normal" and that's not good. Everyone needs down time from everything. Down time from "training", down time from work and just plain old down time from the day to day grind that can be living at home.

Mary and I headed to Oahu, Hawaii to visit our USMC son Marco. It was so good to see him, it's hard to put into words. For the last year when I felt like I was having a tough day I tried to remember that my days are not tough. A tough day is being a US Marine Infantryman. PT is at 05:30 and then the training get's hard. Most days finish at 19:00 but there are times like an upcoming training block that will be 24 hours a day for 6 weeks. No bed, no showers and average of 3 hours of sleep a night.

Back to the vacation. I generally don't run or do much of any typical exercise when we vacation. The main reason is we walk almost everywhere. For instance on the 4th of July we walked 10 miles with 2 of those miles in deep sand on the beach. I do have one rule especially if vacation is on a tropical island. I must get wet every day. The only reason I'll usually run is if one or both family members runs with me.


We stayed in Kailua, Oahu and there are some similarities with Kailua, Kona. There is one main road along the beach that stretches for miles. This was our run course for our family run the day after we arrived. It always feels great to feel that Hawaiian heat building on your body as you run. You sweat so much trying to cool your body down and it's really difficult. As you can tell we had a great run. 

 Cockroach Cove

 Cockroach Cove

Cockroach Cove

 North Shore

The best day by far and the best 4th of July we've ever been a part of was Tuesday. We started day with the parade. There probably isn't a better parade on 4th of July than one in a military town. It was really fun. Then we went to the best beach in Oahu which was only 4 blocks from our house. Kailua Beach is a must see if you have time. White sand, warm water and not the crazy crowds and traffic of Waikiki. At 6 or 18:00 we were back at the beach for the fireworks celebration. We knew the Marine Corps Band was playing and wanted to see them. What they showed us was the best part of the entire day. It was a 7 member jazz band, dressed in full Marine dress walking down the beach playing their music. Think Mardi Gras Jazz band on the beach. They were outstanding and having a blast. The beach is narrow and it was packed with spectators. The band came down the beach in the white water of the waves. So much fun. 

The sad part of the 4th was at the end after the fireworks show. We had to drop our son off on base and say goodbye. He had to work a 06:00 to 06:00 duty shift. 

Mary and I went hiking on the 5th. We hiked up to Maunawili Falls. The maps said "Easy Hike" and advertised 1.5 miles. I didn't wear my GPS but it sure seemed longer than 1.5 miles and if this is what Hawaii calls easy I'd love to do one that was difficult. The falls were not the big falls you typically see on Hawaii promo videos. They were decent size but not the big ones. What made them fun was jumping off the rock face into the pool below the falls. There were two jumping off points. One was 10ft and the other 15ft over an outcropping on the rock face. Really fun and the water was really refreshing after the hike. 







No, Mary didn't hike barefoot. She took her shoes off to cross the river. I of course didn't care about my shoes so I just went right through. No harm done to the shoes or my feet. 

A great 5 days with the family. It wasn't all smiles and hugs like most vacations but we sure made it as fun as we possibly could. So good to have the little family together again even it it was for such a short time. 

It's a good life.....





Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Mount Whitney in 2 Weeks?



So far this year I have:

  1. Run in Tokyo
  2. Run in Boston
  3. Run in Rome
  4. Run in Brooklyn 
  5. Run in London
  6. Run in Peoria
  7. Run in Encintas 
Today a random request came across my phone. I've always wanted to do this but haven't really thought about it in years. The request "My partner is injured, do you want to climb Mt. Whitney on July 15th" 

Hell Yea! 

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

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Run Test June 27, 2017


Before I get to run testing, this Friday we are heading to Hawaii to see this boy or should I say man. He's based there with his Marine unit and we haven't seen him since he shipped out in February. The longest time we've ever been apart. We already have a plan to run and can't wait for the other things we are going to do with him. That tattoo is new and it's the single cover to the song Vicarious by Tool. More impressive than the tattoo is the size of the arm. 

Today was run test day. I've been really bad at consistently doing any kind of testing. I've committed to doing it because it's the only way of knowing if what you are doing has any effect. I've settled on a loop that's easy to get to and basically closed to traffic. There are two roads you have to cross and every once in awhile you have to stop for cars but it's rare. For those of you who know San Diego North County running the look is the Rancho Santa Fe Golf Course trail. It's 4.53 miles and it's not easy. It's rarely flat, there are a couple sustained climbs one sustained decent and then a bunch of sections that are either 2% going up or 2% going down. Most of it is on wood chips and some of it is thick. 

The one thing you may have read is as you get closer to 50 your ability to recover is the biggest change in your running or endurance activities. I've really started to notice that this year. That's why I'm playing around with the length of a block. It used to be I could go on 7 days rotation but there isn't enough rest anymore in 7 days. So right now any long or hard stuff is separated by 8 days. This includes 1 day completely nothing and one day with no legs. This test proves that maybe I need more recovery. I'll keep at it test again and decide. 

My current pre-workout drink. What I like most of all is out fast it clears through my body. 

The Test
Today.                                                                   1 Month Ago
M1 7:18                                                                7:11
M2 7:57.                                                               7:35 
M3 7:15.                                                               7:09 
M4 7:15.                                                               7:13 
.53. 3:39.                                                               3:43
33:25.                                                                   32:53

The first 2 miles seemed dramatically hard today. It was much hotter today and the sun was bright where last month it was cooler and overcast. Next time I'll be sure to go earlier when it's cooler to see if that is the key. Overall I'm pleased for a couple reasons: 

  1. I did the test
  2. I was really dizzy during the first mile and instead of baggin it I stuck to it. 
  3. I felt much stronger on the hills. 
It's a good life....
Dave





Sunday, June 25, 2017

Swimming Into Shape


I know this isn't a swimming photo. It's the hill I finish every ride on. It's another good test about feeling in shape. When this hill is easy then I'm getting there. 

I love swimming for the simple fact that when I'm in shape in the pool, I'm in fairly good shape everywhere else. I'm not a sit in an swim kind of guy. When I go to the pool my intentions are to go until my arms feel like they are falling off. My swim program is simple, 3 master's sessions each block which currently is every 8 days. Because it's not set on 7 days the swim days are not consistent. This creates some problems in that there are no easy swim days.That's what I want "I think" anyway. The workout today: 

Just the Main Set
Base +5.                                   Base.                          Base -5
100                                           100                              50.         Round 1
200.                                         2x100.                         2 x 50.    Round 2
300.                                         3 x 100.                       3 x 50.    Round 3
400.                                         4 x 100.                       4 x 50     Round 4

The total swim was 4500 yards. I led the lane, the base was 1:30 and I just made it on 40 seconds for the 50's. Not in fast swim shape but just leading a set like this was confidence building. 

It's a good life....

Friday, June 23, 2017

I'm Back for More

Here's the set up.
1. Personal and Mind dumping - Endorphin Fanatics
2. Running Shoes - shoeranger.com next posting on shoe ranger is the costing of a running shoe. Shoe prices are going up and the brands have been reacting by cutting some costs.
3. The Running Industry - runningshoeinsight.com - Last post was a shout out to Hoka. They are the new kid on the block and really have a thing but they are not trying to change the block they are falling in line.


This picture was just that, a picture I took while out on a bike ride. This is my typical 1 hour easy ride. This is the beach in Del Mar. It's a beautiful place to be any time of the year. It's one of the few beaches that has a park full of grass just before the sand. You can literally go the to beach and not get sandy. 

The summer between my Sophomore and Junior year in college this beach was a daily visit. I worked as a life guard. A dream job in California. I was not a beach guard, I was a pool guard and swim teacher. I worked at a pool in central Escondido. Most cyclists in this area know Escondido as the town you have to go through to get into the mountains of San Diego. On days where we weren't teaching swim lessons, three of us would drive down Del Dios Highway to this beach. We would body surf for an hour or so, have breakfast then get to the pool in time to open it for the day. That was a great summer. 

Now that beach is simply on one of the rides. It's 6 miles from the house and unless I'm riding, I rarely go there. Body surfing is done at Moonlight Beach these days. 

It's a good life.....