Saturday, December 21, 2013

Blood Test Results

For a year or maybe longer I just haven't had that snap in my life. My racing has been off but even more than that many other markers like sleep patterns, mood and energy have been off. Most of the time I blame the travel that I do and if you look below you can see why:

2013 Travel Stats
130,000 miles in the air
75 nights in a hotel
10-15 overnight flights
7 trips with time changes greater than the standard USA 3 hours.

But instead of living it any more I decided to spend the money to get myself a full blood test. I used Wellness FX ( but there are many others like them. It's a simple process, you go to a local lab, and 3-5 days later your results show up on your WFX web page. Some 75 blood markers is what we looked and here are the key results right now.

Cholesterol - My total cholesterol is 223. I believe that would automatically make me a candidate for Statins if I went the medical rout. But if you look deeper I am not concerned.

HDL 107
LDL 102
Tiyglycerides 72

The LDL 102 would put me in the automatic Statin range. But the TG/HDL ratio of much lower than 1.0 which tells you that the LDL that I have is made up of mostly fat healthy cells and not oxidized cells. That and my HDL is really high. I give that all to the food I eat. Natural not from a box food. No Gluten and very little sugar.

Ferritin - My Ferritin (Iron Storage) levels are high at 173. The medical field believes this is a normal level. The functional medical field believes anything above 100 is too high and needs to be addressed immediately. So Thursday I gave Blood and will do so 2 more times in the next 3 months. I assume once we get it down we'll work on things to keep it down.

Thyroid - My thryroid is extremely high. We hear often that Obese people talk about low thyroid as one of their issues. Well the high thryroid does the opposite, it won't let you gain wait. Given the fact that I shed weight quickly this is an issue. So Friday I had another blood test to see go deep on Thyroid. Hopefully we can find the one marker driving it.

But we're also addressing a couple of the other markers that deal with energy and strength. My friend has me on a heavy dose of Amino Acids. Dose normally for a 250lb man. If changes don't occur than we will add to the mix. The Amino Acids I'm taking are a powder form that I drink twice a day. I will do this until the first of the year and then report back to Chris where then we will make a decision to carry on or stack on top of the Aminos.

I am also tracking my resting HR and Heart Rate Variability daily. Both are an indication of how rested you are. My HR has been it's normal low always in the 40's or in the 30's if I do it in bed. But the HRV has been low especially since I started the major travel block over the last 8 weeks. For me below 85 is low and yesterday my HRV was 58 and today it was 65. Once that number gets back to normal I can then expect to feel or not feel the effect of the Aminos. 

The current trend term of what I'm doing is Biohacking. What I'm really doing is simply trying to be a better man. 

It's a good life....

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Fast Boys and Good Friends

The Cross Country Season is officially over. Saturday marked the final race and it was a doozy. Only 175 of the fastest high school runners in the wild west. The occasion was the Footlocker West Region Championship at Mt Sac. The top 10 runners from this race move on to the National Championship held each year in Balboa Park, San Diego. Marco and the boys wanted to run the Mt Sac course and they wanted to finish the season on a high note. The day dawned cold and wet, perfect cross country weather. I've been to the Footlocker finals at least 10 years and to watch my son run in this West Final was emotional. When the gun went off tears, filled my eyes. The boys can walk off the season proud. They weren't the fastest in the group but they all ran strong, and finished strong. For Marco, he was one of 15 underclassmen in the race and he got a taste of big time cross country. He walked away from the race hungry which is a good thing.

This brings me to Good Friends. Marco and I sat down last week to talk about his goals for his senior year. We then back up and he set his goals for the upcoming track Season. First step was to give those goals to his coach and the second step was to establish some practices of injury prevention. So we turned to Chris Maund of Pacific Health and Fitness in Encintas. Chris is the trainer to the stars and he graciously took and hour out of his day to spend with Marco teaching him mobilization and stretching he could do. It was a great session and it was totally fun to watch Chris and Marco work together. They've known each other for 15 years and they've gone from little boy, man talk to man to man talk and now Trainer to Athlete talk. So very cool to see.

I take away from this that watching fast boys is fun and it's even better when one of them is your own. It's also great to have good friends who are willing to help with the goals of a 15 year old.

It's a good life....

Monday, December 2, 2013

Woking on it

If you haven't noticed I am a hacker. A living hacker. What that means is that in the areas of Body, Mind, Relationships and work life I'm always looking at ways to become better.

My #1 relationship is with my wife Mary and for that I'm always working on it. It's how you stay married for 20 years. The Podcast below is some of the best stuff I've heard in a long time. It's worth a listen to man or woman. I'm going to listen to it again just to reaffirm it all.

The New Man Podcast

Recently I also received my blood test results. The things I need to work on:

Cholesterol - I need to better understand the numbers that I have. In Medicine they could be concerning but I need to better understand them.

SHGB - Sex Hormone - is low need to research how to improve this. This is to improve sex drive but also to improve overall energy something I am lacking at times.

Insulin Like Growth Factor 1 - is low - More sleep and weight lifting is the cure.

TSH - Thyroid Stimulating Hormone is high - Need to find out how to lower it.

What's most interesting is that my Chortisol Stress and Inflamation is all in check. For a person who works out like I like too these are very good signs.

More on this as I find out more.

It's a good life.....

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

It's a Good Life...

I end every writing with that simple yet very true statement. It's a good life.... say it enough times and it becomes true. I have a short list to be pissed off about:

  1. Weasels who join your team then stab you in the back all for more money
  2. Weasels who say they your friend who hire employees 
  3. The guy who said I get paid in sun
  4. ALS 
  5. Booking a flight to China for two weeks from now all because of #1 and #2
  6. My Bike got Stolen

But look what makes this life good....
  1. I have a hot sexy wife and have been married to her for 20 years. 
  2. Our son is simply everything I wanted to be when I was 15
  3. We have the best dog ever. 
  4. I love my job - Running shoes is what I do and I get to do that in San Diego. 
  5. I am healthy and can still ride, swim and run with my son. 
So when I say It's a good life... It's because it is the crap will always be there so focusing on the good will make me a better person. 

It's a good life....

Friday, November 1, 2013

The High School Runner Cluster Meet 2

There are runners who start off a race or start off a season with a bang. Then there are athletes who get stronger as the race or the season progresses. Marco is the latter. He's stronger over the back half of the race and he was 15 seconds faster than last week. He's also moving closer to the #1 runner on the team. Another 2 seconds faster and he becomes the new #1. I knew he could get there someday if he wanted. I did not think it would happen when he was a sophomore.

After the race he saw me talking to Steve Scott, only the best miler in US history and coach of Cal State San Marcos. Marco walked up, shook hands, introduced himself and had a great running conversation. I was more impressed with that move than the running.

Two more races and assuming they go well, there will be a third on Thanksgiving weekend.

Personally I am signing off for two weeks. I am headed out on a big business trip hitting a couple states and 3 countries outside the USA.

It's a good life....

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Highschool Runner - Jaguar Invite

Leading up to the race this week there was talk of frustration. The boys had been invited to the most prestigious cross country race in the West, Mt SAC. It's a big deal to run this event. Coach decided racing local was better for the team so he entered them in the Jaguar race on a course they know really well. In fact, Marco has raced on this course we'll over 10 times. The frustration lingered into race morning and to be honest I had no idea how the race would play out.

One thing for sure is that the coach knows. The boys were running in the big school race. They are not a big school. This ensures that egos are kept in check. No easy day in cross country.

The Race start for an invite is a bit sketchy. 120 boys aiming for a turn 200 meters away. Somehow though the start was clean with no falls. The team came though 800 meters bunched together sitting just outside the top 15. At the 1 mile mark the #1 runner was 15 or so meters in front the rest of the team but something interesting was taking place. Marco was leading the rest of the team. The first big hill is at the 1.5 mile mark and it's a big separator. Coming off the top of the hill the best runners had established there place. The #1SDA runner came through in 15th or so and right on his tail was Marco leading another team member.

At the 2 mile mark the situation was the same. #1 senior runner and then Marco with in 5 feet. With 6 or so minutes of racing remaining and one monster hill anything can happen. The race blew apart on the second hill. The gaps got wider. The lead runners came in clear of everyone and then the waiting started. Quickly the SDA runner came around the corner and still on his feet was Marco. No way Marco wins this Sprint but the fact remains he was challenging the #1 runner on the team. The boys rushed to the line Marco finishing 16th two places behind #1.

Team 3rd place. The best result ever at this invite and they beat a team they have never beaten dating back 12 years.
Marco ran a personal best 5k but more importantly was how he did it. He ran strong, with supreme confidence and poise.

One step closer to the goal.

It's a good life....

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Tech Story

I remember way back to 1997. I was working at Road Runner Sports and was 2 years into a 12 year career there. We were a catalog company watching what was going on with the internet. The Chief Runner - Big Boss at RRS, first claimed that people wouldn't buy on the internet and asked us to create an information page. What we created was one of the first forums widely used. We called it Shoe Talk. You could go on the website find your shoe and talk about it. It was hugely successful especially for a shoe guy like me. It was my source for running shoe information. Finally after a year or so of shoe talk the Chief Runner gave us the green light to open up a shopping cart. People bought and bought and sure enough a business began to take shape. After two years or so of selling, myself and another gentlemen were pulled into the big office. You two have a new task, Leap Frog the website. We are running double monthly growth now go double it again. You Dave go into the market and find the partners, you coworker start looking at the infrastructure to handle the business. We were young and somewhat stupid and so we got to working. 

Most of what we did failed. A few things worked. The things that worked caused us to go way above the goal. We did our job and then some. My most memorable meeting happened in an apartment in Downtown La Jolla. I sat at a table and had this guy describe his dream. His dream was written out in grease pencil on his sliding glass door. I loved it so much we started a relationship. But before we really got going a huge number of competitors joined in on his game so I went to meet with each and everyone of them. We actually created one of the first skins on a website where the face of the page was RRS but the back end was a different engine. It was crude on line race registration. Well less than a year after I toured the country meeting all these people they were all in San Diego shaking hands. They had just formed together as one, creating the company known as

Another such random meeting occurred. This guy came to me with a dream. One day people will use their phones for almost everything. He said we've created this program (now called an App) that allows you to use GPS on your phone to track your running. It automatically load on your log when you hit stop. Eventually you will be running in San Diego and your friend in NYC and you'll be able to run together using this program. You'll see his pace, he'll see yours and you can talk the entire time. Dreamers I tell you. 3 years later I'm at adidas and was asked to work on this thing called Mi Coach. It brought back memories of things I'd already seen and I realized that we, adidas, were actually behind in thinking. I put adidas in touch with the guy with the phone and within a year, adidas bought his company and brought he and his partner to the team to launch Mi Coach. 

There is a story here about being a connector. These are just two stories in a an entire host of stories I can tell like this. 

The other day I was the door man at a Birthday Party in Kona for Zoot. I was applying the wrist bands that allowed people into the party. I put a wristband on the Grease Pencil guy. Only he knows this story and we always have a little extra firm handshake when we see each other. He's filthy rich because of his deal and I could not be more happy for him.  

The best way I can describe this, is this way: 

It's a good life....

Sunday, October 20, 2013

My Life Map

I wrote this earlier this year and it is still what I believe is my life map to success

I know that when I live this path my days are awesome. When any one of these things get out of sorts it affects all. Maybe the sport things don't affect everything else but the sport results after forgetting some of this do. Take for example the statement that Strength is everything. As I look back on this year my body is stronger today than this time last year but not as strong as it needs to be. I neglected the specific strength work and it shows in my late race abilities. That race in Tahoe has affected my mind set for weeks.

I am glad I took the time this weekend to look back at this post. It's a reminder to read this every day. Positive affirmations are proven. These are mine. What are yours?

It's a good life....

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Week That Was: Kona

Last week the work team traveled to the Big Island of Hawaii for the annual Ironman World Championships. It's a week of paradise, excitement building to race day and of course some back breaking sweat producing long work days. 

The Calm before the Race. Race morning is full of nervous energy. The athletes are nervous about what's ahead. Their family members are nervous because of what's ahead. The energy is high. Put those things together and it actually feels quite calm. 

 Part of the "Fun" of the week is the annual Under Pants run. It's a charity run to help out the local people. It was first established to make fun of all the triathletes running around in the "Speedo" swim suits. Pictured with me is Bree Wee a local professional triathlete and Zoot athlete. I knew I was in trouble running with her. Being the local girl the cameras were all focused on her. You can follow Bree on her Blog

This is wear the sweat comes in. This booth took us 3 days to construct. It by far was the most beautiful booth ever in Kona and as you can see some media folks really liked it too. It was a blast to build and work in this booth. It's great as a brand to make a statement. 

Although I love Kona and the Ironman Triathlon it's nice to be home in Cardiff with the family and the routine. 

It's a good life....

Saturday, October 5, 2013

High School Runner Cluster Meet

Last night in a cluster meet (4 schools)  the boys ran a tough race. There is history with other schools, drama on the team and in the end it was all about running a hard race on a hard course. Marco ran strong finishing 12th and first underclassmen. He did the entire race with a blister causing rock in his shoe. Last year he had a couple instances of being pushed around on the track. He made a point to out run those antagonists this time.
Most impressive was the team. Last year in this same race all six varsity runners finished ahead of the first SDA runner. A thorough beating. Yesterday SDA finished with in 2 points of San Pasqual. A complete turn around. Look out world here comes SDA!

It's a good life.....

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Top 10 Reasons I'm Still Married after 20 years

This goes out to all the men out there. Tomorrow marks 20 years of marriage for my wife Mary and I. There is no formula to staying married for this long. But maybe the 10 things below will help you in your quest.

  1.  We split the money. She makes her own money and it's hers, I make my money at it's mine. We split the bills and we contribute but never touch a joint savings account. 
  2. I was never good with money growing up. If I had it I spent it, so 20 years ago I gave up any thoughts on being an expert. Mary controls our investing, our retirement and out taxes. She's really good at it. 
  3. We poor our energy into our son. We agree on the values we want him to carry and that makes it easy. 
  4. When our son was born and came home we traded getting up with him every other night. It's the greatest thing I've ever done and I believe it's why today he and I are still very close. 
  5. Mary and I are individuals and have a strong appreciation for each others interests. In our 20 years she got her teaching credential, Master's degree and PHD and has traveled the world. I've done 8 Ironman Races and 100's of other races. 
  6. We go on vacation together often and when Marco was born we took him along. 
  7. We have always had a dog. 
  8. I check my ego at the door. 
  9. I try to listen more than I talk 
  10. I will not walk out the door without kissing my wife and tell her that I love her. 

These all seem really simple but I believe they work. But more important than all of them I think the key is this: I am totally inspired by my wife. She has taught me more about being a man than anyone anywhere. I can't wait for the next 20 years together. 

It's a good life...

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The High School Runner and a little Ironman Lake Tahoe Redemption

Last night was the High School Time Trial. A little fun for the team and the families. It's a 5K on the home course (Nasty little course that it is) where the kids race each other and the parents and faculty join in on the fun.

Marco ran well actually faster than last week on a tougher course and placed 4th. That's a great result considering 1st and 3rd are seniors and 2nd is a Junior. By the end of the year, I'm predicting right now he'll be third on the team and may even make it to 2nd barring injury and burn out. But he doesn't know I'm predicting this. He only knows that he keeps getting faster and that he loves the team dynamic.

For me it was a bit of competition 5 days after the Ironman. Not really what I wanted to do but I'm glad I did it. I was conservative on the big down hill start. Stayed out of the middle and eased into the hard pace. There were three men ahead of me at the turn. After the turn I eased my way up to the three men and as the first of the big hills started I eased my way pass them. Once on the really big, steep, nasty hill I hammered away knowing I could created a large gap which I did. At this point I have roughly 1.5 miles to the finish and it was hang on while trying to maintain a high tempo. I started racing the boys at this point trying to hang on to feet as best I could. I got killed by the boys on the long uphill finish but it was ok. I was first adult and in the top 15 overall. Felt great to go hard and and survive. The legs were really heavy most of the way which is to be expected but they responded quite well. Good times for sure.

It's a good life....

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Ironman Lake Tahoe: 10 Things I will Never Forget

  1. Snow falling around the area the day before the race. 
  2. Getting in the water for the swim and finally feeling warm. Not knowing it was the last time all day I would feel warm
  3. Ice on my bike seat coming out of T1 or Swim to Bike Transition
  4. Keeping my speed down in the fast section because faster meant colder. 
  5. My front wheel shaking vigorously on the down hills and finally realizing it wasn't the front wheel but my body going into heavy duty shiver mode. 
  6. Stuffing my Tri Top with Grass to keep warm and having a volunteer stuff grass into the back of my suit for added insulation. 
  7. The laugh from the huge crowd in the village when I asked "Has anyone seen my wife?" 
  8. The volunteer who gave me the space blanket and the hug I gave her when I came back through that aid station for the last time. 
  9. With 400 meters to go I was done with being cold. I took off the space blanket and put my legs in gear. I was not suffering from the effort but my body could not function and shiver at the same time. But with 400 to go my mind took over. I ran fast and got the largest cheer ever. I was a rock star for a minute. 
  10. Rolling across the finish line for ALS and my brother Bob. It's what made me stay in the race. The front wheel shakes scared me and that was 30 miles into the bike. The long super fast hill was yet to come. But I said to myself "This is not hard, ALS is hard" That was my mantra all day long. I knew I would be warm again but someone with ALS only knows that there is no cure. So I rolled across that finish line. 

It's a good life....

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The High School Runner: Mt Carmel Moving Shoes Invite

Although I'm in Lake Tahoe to race an Ironman tomorrow my thoughts and energy have been focused on San Diego. The growth of the High School Runner not as a runner but as a young man is so much more important than any race I do. Today was about running though and he absolutely nailed it. 

All week he's been working hard. Monday during hill repeats he was the first to the top on every one. Tuesday during PT testing for the Cival Air Patrol he ran 4:48 for the mile. He's simply was working hard. So today was a test. 

The invite races are by age/grade. So it's a test for today and it's a test for things to come. He lined up with the Sophomores. No teammates to pace off he was on his own. Reports were that he was confident in the morning but nervous as race time approached. His coach gave this advice "don't go out with the leaders, go out with the second pack and finish strong". I was getting reports via text during the race. Top 10 was what I heard which to me means he's closer to 10 then to 1. Then as the lead runner was coming to the finish I got a live play by play. 16:14 (3.1 miles) won the race, then second and then third and then with incredible excitement in her force Marco came up over the hill in 4th. Only 100 meters to go to hold on. Hold on he did 16:49 (5:25 pace) 4th place. 

 Here he is (on the right just in the picture) chasing two guys. 

4th Place! 

It's a good life.....

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Ironman Taper

Although I don't wish to go through life as a zombie I do wish to go through life in a constant Ironman taper. Coming off a huge week, last week I cut volume almost in half (all on the legs)  but kept the intensity up. I buried myself, could barely function and was on edge mood wise. This past Sunday on plan I swam. I did not ride 3 hard hours or negative split 90 minutes of running. I swam an easy 1000 in the morning and 40 minutes in the ocean late afternoon.

Monday dawned a new. No dragging feet. No foggy head. In the pool I led the lane during the 2000 meter main set and it was 'easy'. Yes I was breathing hard on the fast 200s but my stroke was smooth, fast and in control.

I woke. Up this morning more refreshed than yesterday and I am excited to get in the pool this morning and to test the running legs tonight.

Love me some taper.

It's a good life.....

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Why Do You Still Do this?

I've been asked many times and I've asked myself many times, why do you want to go do another Ironman.

  • Is it the brand Ironman - No
  • Is it because I want to Qualify for Kona - I think I can still do that but it's not the goal. 
  • Is it because I can't get it out of my system - No, I could drop it and not miss it. 
I do this: 
  • To Prove to myself that I still can
  • Because I can
But I really do this because these people can't. 

Larry "King" Solomon: The Rock Always in my thoughts. 

I'm going 140.6 Miles on September 22nd and these three will be on my mind and on my Arms all day. Cancer took Larry,  a predator took Chelsea and as my friend Mike Rouse said last week "There are three words you won't hear "I survived ALS" So I ask you to contribute to something on behalf of the three above and the many others like them. If it so suits you contribute 1 penny or one dime or one dollar.  

Contribute to Cancer get out and Pedal the Cause

Volunteer or give to Chelsea's Light

Or Fight ALS 

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

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Ironman Lake Tahoe - You Should be Nervous

That was the quote given to me today "You should be nervous, I am nervous for you".
Here is what I know:

  1. It's going to hurt 
  2. Shit will happen that I can't predict
  3. There will be a point where it will be easier to stop then it is to continue
I have done the training I believe I need to do. Or at least 80% of what I set out to do. I've tried to manage it through being a father, a husband and do my job. At some point I've failed at everything and that's where the 80% comes in. I was 80% in line all the time. There was 20% of the time where I was an utter mess. 

I will post my training after I finish the race. 

What would I have done differently. 
  1. I would have dialed in bike fit sooner. As it is I'll be riding 112 miles on a bike fit I have roughly 100 miles on. Not very smart. 
  2. I would have done more swimming - But I always say that. 
  3. I would have done more riding - But I always say that. 
What have I done
  1. lost close to 15lbs since this time last year. 
  2. Gotten my running back - I feel like a runner again. 
  3. Ridden my bike really hard and I like it that way. 
  4. Dialed in my food. I have no sugar crashes any more. I'm never super hungry. I enjoy food again. 
The all important race day nutrition plan. Here it is. 

  1.  Water - At least one two bottles to any one bottle of anything else. 
  2. Generation Ucan - I like it because it's a slow burning carb. It's tough to mix though. 
  3. Race Day - This will be mixed in a bottle of Ucan and Bullet Proof MCT before the race, on the bike and on the run and at both feed zones. 
  4. Salt Stick - 1 per hour
  5. MCT Oil - I plan to burn fat
  6. Amino Acids on the bike and on the run
  7. Tums just in case
My race plan. Swim - Bike the fist lap steady - Bike the second lap at or slightly faster than the first. Run a comfortable pace for 1.5 laps. Give everything I have left on the last 1/2 lap of the run. 

Until then, I will slow down, ease up and let my body recharge for the effort at hand. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

The High School Runner: Bronco Invitational

The first race of the cross country season was this past weekend. There was a strong tension in the house Friday and Saturday morning. The first time stepping on the line for a season will do that.  We arrived at the venue about 3 hours early so we could watch the D-1 boys race. Marco has a bunch of friends in other schools and he wanted to watch them race. It was good to see these boys race but it made for a long day for Mom and Dad.
This was only the 3rd Varsity Cross Country race from Marco. He started last year as JV and made the Varsity team at the end.
I love the line up at a cross country race. Each team finds their spot on the start line and burns tension by doing drills and strides. When the starter gets all the teams back in the corral and gives instructions it's a beautiful thing to see. 120 or so boys bunched together ready to explode. For this race teams could only put three runners on the line. In theory the top 3 on each team get that spot. Marco was in the second row. The gun wen off and it was madness as usual. This particular course funnels down rather quickly and then 200 meters or so after the start there is a 180 degree turn. So the start is everything. At about 400 meter I caught the leaders coming through and sitting in a bunch about 3-4 from runners from the front was Marco and the boys. They had a great start. The next opportunity to see them was just before the 1 mile mark. The bunch was broken up a bit and a great deal more runners had moved into the front. I'm guessing Marco and his Senior running partner were now in the top 25. After the 1 mile mark they have the hill. Most people struggle to walk up this hill. It's beautiful to see all the heads bobbing up and down from afar. We caught the boys coming down and it was amazing to see that Marco and his running buddy were still side by side and now sitting 10th and 11th. It pays to be small on the big hills. That unfortunately works the opposite on the down hills. The big boys made there move with 1/2 mile to go on the slight down hill and Marco lost some ground. He finished 19th overall and 3rd on his team. He was only 2 places and 1 second behind being second on the team. It's hard to tell because they don't post grade at the results table but looking at faces I think he was in the top 3 for underclassmen.

A couple other ways to look at the results. He ran with a group of boys for 3 years before high school on a club team. He was always the 8th or 9th runner on that team. 6 of the boys from that team ran in different races on Saturday and Marco had the 2nd best time of the group.

It's clear, when the light came on last Spring it has stayed on this fall. He is into this running thing and showing what we've always seen in him. A natural flow for running.

But that's not even the cool stuff. What's even better to me the father is to watch him after the race. He spent the rest of the morning giving fist bumps and encouragement to the JV boys. Being a great teammate is just as important as improving as a runner. It's fun to watch his leadership grow on the field.

To cap off the great day he went to a party that night. It was at the house of a runner from a different school. He and his teammates were invited as were 3-4 other schools. They hung out until 10pm eating pizza telling stories and just continuing the cross country bond.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

High School Runner: It's Cross Country Season

The boys are 5 weeks into cross country training. The first two weeks were camps. One in the mountains with kids from all over the South West. Lot's of hard running and fun at that camp. Then in week 2 it was the team camp. Some hard running but mostly fun on the beach.

The training consists of 3 main workouts and then 3 days of easy running.

Workout #1: Hill Repeats - Each week it's a different hill and it's consistent from year to year. They know what's coming.

Workout #2: Core Work - You have to be strong for Cross Country.

Workout #3: The Long Run - For this one there is no coach. Only you and the team. Marco and the boys meet Saturday mornings. This past Saturday in the heat they ran 13 miles in 90 minutes. The longest our High School Runner has ever gone. All he could say is "It Hurt" That morning he came home ate some food and fell asleep.

As a parent you worry about the workload. You worry that this run may be his last run. I was worried that maybe the 90 minutes broke his spirit. He was a hurting kid and we all know what it feels like to hurt after a long run. But no, Monday morning came around and it was a special day. Goat Hill and 9 times up it. Smiles all along.

It's Cross Country Season! Yipee!

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Long Run

People always ask me "what are you training for?" My answer is always "for the rest of my life"  Saturday was specific and it was the long run. The only run all year that had a distance tied to it. The distance was 20 miles. This run is much like life:

  1.  Show up - feeling good or poor, show up
  2. Set a pace you can handle
  3. insert surges regularly because you will slow down if you don't
  4. Find a good place to concentrate when it starts to hurt -  Saturday it started to hurt and each time I thought of my brother Bob who has ALS. Nothing hurts that bad. 
  5. Finish Strong

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.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Bio Hacking, Mind Hacking Living a long Life

I have written much lately because I am in learning mode and that sometimes replaces writing mode. What am I working on:

Bio Hacking - my own of course. I am not the guy who lost 300 pounds and lived to tell you about it. I am the guy who has a brother with ALL, a father who passed away from heart disease and a mother with Alziemer' s. Quite a bag to choose from. So I am working on finding the things that make me feel good and work towards providing me physical and mental energy. Recently I have added a great deal more fat into my diet and it feels good. I also quickly dropped weight which was not planned but not bad either. My inspiration is a bit of mix, Vinnie Tortorich, Dave Asprey and Ben Greenfield. All available on podcast' I have also added a huge variety of plants to my diet and that is thanks to Rich Roll. More on this as I learn.

My mind work has been concentrating on Zen. I am fascinated with the calmness it offers. Here I am reading Leo Babuta and again listening to Dave Asprey. I spend a good amount of time deep breathing. I have no plans right now to become a.Zen master but I won't rule it out.

I believe my long term health is tied to my food choice and keeping my mind calm and constantly learning.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Two Life Saving Apps

I am not a huge app guy. My phone is relatively empty of them. There are two that I use daily.

Evernote: I am trying to rid myself of paper. I have stacks of notebooks that are training logs, work notes and journals. This blog became my journal and I have yet to give up pen and paper for my log but I am 80% paper free at work and a big part of this is Evernote. All my meeting notes and daily notes are put in here directly. I have notes for each retailer, the factories and employee. Business cards are a nightmare. I simply take a picture and it's filed in the correct place for future. Best of all is it's virtual so I have access to it on my phone, my work computer and this here Kindle.

Stress Doctor: I believe this is an I Phone app only. With stress doctor you are taking a daily resting heart rate and establishing a breathing pattern. The better the pattern, the more rewards or indicators that you are in low stress. It takes a few days to establish the patterns but once there it's gold. You wake up feeling great and rested, stress doctor will confirm it. You wake up feeling slow, stress doctor can confirm it. For an athlete you can use it to determine whether you need to back off or conversely pour it on. For the non-athlete (although Nike says "if you have a body, you are an athlete"), the stress doctor is probably better  because as you know stress can kill. There are lots of apps for this purpose, I found this to be the easiest to use and understand.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Runnig Shoe Testing

It's that time again. There are no new Zoot shoes to test so I am out testing the competition again. Lots of news on Hoka One One and always on Newton. I reserve the weekends to test so this weekend I ran in the Hoka Stinson for 10 miles and the Newton Energy for4 miles.

Stinson -the take on Hoka is that the shoes are working for tired worn out runners. I can see why this is the case. That much soft cushioning feels good on an old body. The shoe is built with your foot some 40 mm off the ground. It has a slight rocker so it rolls more than it flexes. This doesn't work for my left foot. In needs to flex. If it can't it goes numb. The other downside for this runner is my narrow feet. Really I couldn't get the upper tight enough. On one occasion my right foot landed awkward causing the shoe to roll. Because of the loose fit the shoe rolled but my foot did not. I guess that is a good thing. Other than those two things the shoes were fine. I kept thinking and still believe you have to be a large runner or one loaded with muscle. A skinny runner like myself can't transition through the shoe very well. I found my feet were tired at the end.

Energy - now I don't think 4 miles is enough but I do believe in first impressions. This shoe is built as a transition shoe from your normal running shoe to Newton. In other words not supposed to put heavy strain on your lower leg. I sure did not feel that strain coming like I do in normal Newton. I like my shoes tight on my feet and I can do that with these shoes. However when they were tight I could feel the forefoot technology digging into the bottom of my feet. Only when I losenened upper did this go away.  The shoe felt responsive to run in but to me it runs loud. I need more running to give a full verdict but I don't see anyone jumping out of their Brooks to give these a go.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Parenting and Athletics

I read a post written by Gordo Burn about parenting

The general sentiment is that a child has one childhood and it doesn't mix well with elite athletics. I have my own view and a bit of experience in my time as a father. I don't consider myself elite although I have had success at long distance racing. 3 times at Ironman Hawaii and 2 more times letting the slot roll down past my name. 2 of those Hawaii visits and the other 2 roll downs have all been as a father. Some observations and things I have done:


  1. I would never trade growing up with our son. I have been involved since the day he was born. For close to two years my wife and I alternated the midnight or whatever calling. 
  2. We still do this only now it's homework or all the extra curricular things.
  3. I can count on one hand the games or meets I have missed due to travel.
  4. We committed early to take him with us and we have. He has been to more countries than most adults and to more states then most Americans.
  5. He's almost 15 and our family bond continues to be strong. I think it's partly because we have allowed him and enjoy it when he teaches us.
Athletics and Parenthood
  1. If your single (no spouse or child) training consisted of mega miles you have to learn to replace them with hard miles.
  2. During the summer the sun comes out at 6am. It's good to be an hour into a workout by then. If it means spending the first our of a 5 hour ride on the trainer that is what you do.
  3. You like me got into sport because of friends or you made training friends along the way. They will understand that you can't meet for a 5 hour ride at 8 am on Saturday. If they don't they aren't really your friends.
  4. You have to be the master time freak at work. Your time is everything so keep everyone on task in meetings with a start time and hard end time. Stay off the internet during work. Just get your shit done in the shortest amount of time. The rest of your work can be done via smart phone.
  5. Stay off social media hourly and turn off all social media notifications.
  6. Stay consistent with your training. 
  7. Ride or run to family functions. Your family will appreciate this.
I think the best person to talk to would be my son but he's upstairs with the music blaring and I love it because we both love music.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Suffer Fest

There are lots of theories about becoming a better bike rider. Bike fit, long miles, time I the saddle etc. These are all correct but what works for me and has worked through the years is going hard. I remember one race I did in Big Bear California. I committed to crazy hill repeats where I could barely stand on the pedals by the end of each session. I had the best race ever finishing second overall. So this block of training will include at least twice a week of Suffer Fest training.

Let the suffering begin!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Cut the Crap

No grains, no sugar and cut the crap....Vinnie Tortorich - Fitness Confidential

Before you read his book I think it would help to listen to his podcast. Just search Vinnie Tortorich. He writes like he talks so I think you'll understand the randomness of the book if you hear him speak.

I love the message

  1. There is no easy way in fact he uses the JFK saying "we don't do it because it is easy we do it because it is hard"
  2. None of the marketing crap works - No diet food No Ab Buster and steroids work but they will kill you.
  3. No grains, no sugar is the easiest thing you could ever do. Said differently eat meat, veggies and fruit and nothing else. There are an abundant of choices in those options.
It's a good life..

Monday, July 8, 2013

5 Things I Learned on My Paddle Board

Today was my maiden voyage on my new paddle board (SUP). I have been on a few different boards in California and on two islands in Hawaii. I was first introduced to this activity by entering a race. This was before stand up so we were prone or on our knees. So today was the first time on a Stand Up straight off the beach in my home of Cardiff by the Sea.

What I learned

  1. I love the water and SUP is a great way to enjoy it
  2. The guys and girls in Cardiff make it look easy. It is not and it will take time to negotiate surf and to get paddling strong.
  3. In the one race I did I took a few glances back towards the beach and sat in awe of the beauty. There is a peace being out there on a board. I felt that again tonight.
  4. A couple times a week and there will be no need to do any functional strength for Ironman. It's built in!
  5. Sea legs are important on the water. It's something that only practice can improve.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Ironman Lake Tahoe Countdown week #1

Last week off the plane from Asia I jumped into a bike load weekend. First off my thoughts are with the passengers of the flight that crashed in San Fran. I have landed there from Asia at least 20 times in the last 3 years and it was there where I entered the country last week.

The day after I landed I rolled out 4 hours on the coast. No hills to speak of so basically 4 hours of pedaling. I started the day with an hour in the pool so it was a big day jet lagged. Saturday I rode another 4 hours and this time it was in the big hills. I hadn't paid attention to the weather and wasn't that a mistake. I later found out that it was well over 100 _ for most of my ride. Normally I run off the bike but this time I decided to wait until it got cooler.

Sunday I made my way through 90 minutes of running. It was not pleasant but it got done.

This week has been a standard week. Well kind of standard. My Thursday swim was replaced with a Holiday 10k. I am pleased to report it was my fastest 10k in 6 years. That is good considering the difficult course. It was also a question if I would do it because the Jet lag hung around most of the early part of the week.

Today the Breakaway Trainging group train went by me and I decided to latch on. It felt good to know I could hold their wheel for the 20 minutes we were together. They were moving when they went by.

Another 90 minutes of running awaits tomorrow and week #1 will be done. Good response of the body.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Sleep is not Over-Rated

Yesterday I raced the Old Pro 10K. When I'm in town on the 4th of July this is a normal start to the day. I woke up at my normal time, had my normal wake up routine and was back in bed dead to the world. I shot out of bed at 5:40am and said I will feel better if I ran the race. So I did. Warming up with a friend we got to talking about his recent work trip to Boulder, CO. Then we got on to the day at hand. I asked him what he was doing for the 4th. He said, "I'm just trying to have a normal day to see if I can recover from that trip". Here I was just one week after traveling 1/2 way around the world, not one bit in normal time and warming up to race. I ran the race, got home and went to sleep. Last night I played in mellow since my family is in a different country this week and I slept. 9 hours I did. What did this tell me:

  1. There is no easy way to recover from a long trip. The only answer is sleep. 
  2. You have to be ready to do it, you can't force yourself to sleep, it does not work. 
  3. Once it hits you, let it (the sleep) happen. 
I have noticed that I've been a complete crab this week. Short on patience and just plain moody. A complete lack of sleep for 2+ weeks with the attempt to jump into a normal routine is a disaster waiting to happen. Yesterday it hit me and sleep I did. One more day of that and maybe I'll be back to a "normal" feeling of life. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Time: Take Time to Fix Your Body

This is the 604th Blog Post on this Blog. This may be the most important post ever. In the last 2 days I've talked to 10 runners or so. Virtually every conversation was about Injury. Not mine but theirs or at least someone they know. What makes me the magnet to all of these injured runners, I'm not sure but there is a history here. Not to long ago I worked at Road Runner Sports. In the late 90's or early 00's a magazine was started for the very large Run America Club. One of the Publishers (Bob Babbitt) asked me to host a column in the magazine that would be a Q & A. He said, "it will be great, they will send in questions about running shoes, and you'll answer them, we'll call you Super Dave." I was not super excited about the idea but I've always been proud of the fact that I'll do what it takes. So the magazine went out and the questions rolled in. But 70-80% of the questions had nothing to do with running shoes. They were all questions about running injuries. Using my spare time like I do here I researched every injury and tried to answer the questions. The feedback was amazing, people used what I said and liked it. I still have all the questions and answers and by the time the magazine stopped publication there were over 5,000 injury questions that had been answered. So although I'm not a doctor, a coach or anything but a shoe guy, I've got some experience with injured runners.

Here's what I found out:

  1. Running hurts runners - Running too fast, too soon, too long or too stupid injures runners. 
  2. Running shoes won't cure it - Not even those Moon looking running shoes that all the old guys are swearing by right now. Because of #1 even in those shoes Runners will get injured. 
  3. Once you are injured it sucks and it's hard to get rid of it. 
  4. The best way to stay injury free is run smart and spend the extra time on your body. 
The subject of this post is Take Time to Fix Your Body
Here's the short list.
  1. A good chiropractor
  2. A good Massage Therapist
  3. A good strength/balance trainer if your are not in balance
  4. Becoming a Supple Leopard
I was first introduced to Dr. Kelly Starrett on the internet. He does these great videos called MobilityWOD. I have written about them in the past. His belief that comes from years of working with athletes in his gym and around the world  is that if you spend 15 minutes a day working out the kinks you will become much more adept at doing the things you love. If you don't work out the kinks and spend time running too fast too soon, too long,and or  too stupid you will get injured. Just recently Kelly released a Book about all of this. Go to your local book store and buy it. It's the best $58 you'll spend on your running.

The book works like a home repair book. You find the body part that is stiff and let's face it you are a runner or a triathlete it's most of your body, and you'll find a description of your pain, a description of what you should really feel like and then a progression of work you can do on the stiffness. I have a standard set of parts of my body I work on. I've done it since I met MobilityWOD. But now almost daily I notice something else and I go to the book, look it up and add it to my routine. I also use many of the techniques before I run and swim. Especially on my feet. It works wonders to make those first 5 minutes of either effort so much nicer.

If this post helps one person stay injury free this year than it's been a wild success. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

1 thing you need to know to Run Fast

Watch Mo Farah run and emulate it. I had the honor one day of talking to Mo over the phone. I know my phone skills are challenged and he is a soft talker and it doesn't help. But anyway I was in China and he was home in the UK. We knew then that he was a star in the making. I don't think any of us knew he would be this good. Are you kidding me. He ran 2:23 for the last 1K and ran 53.2 over the final 400. Just go out on the track and emulate that running, you will run faster.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Perfect Business Tool: 4 Great Things about the I Phone 5

When our son was little he like many kids had his Binky. On one of the many trips we have taken, we forgot to bring it. He was fussy for a day or so and then he no longer needed it. The same thing happened to me with the check book. I ran out of checks one day and decided two weeks to get new checks was too long, so I stopped writing checks. That was 12 years ago.

Just over a week ago while on my two week business trip my computer hard drive crashed. At first it was devastating. I had a big meeting with a factory and didn't have the agenda I sent out or any of the back up information I may need. What I had was my new I Phone 5 and the loss of the computer forced me to figure out the business applications for the phone. Below are the top 5 things I learned:

  1.  I have two email accounts one for business and one personal and each was emptied daily. It's always my goal to end the day with no email in my inbox and the I Phone simply makes that easy. 
  2. Pod Casts - I'm a big user of Pod Casts. Business, personal interest and news. I set up my subscriptions and when the phone connects to Wi Fi it gives me anything new. Great for the 90 minute train ride from Hong Kong to Guanzhou or for the Daily Subway ride in the city. 
  3. Notes - No agenda no problem. I recreated the agenda in notes and during the two days in the factory I filled in the talking points in the Agenda. At 6 pm on the second day I sent the notes via email (I love that function) and everyone in the meeting and back at the home offices were informed of what happened. 
  4. Google Maps - If you don't have this on I phone get it. The I Phone Maps works well if you are walking but Google works great if you are driving. The new functions make it absolutely the best when you are in a city you don't know. 

Notice there is no mention of Photo's, Instagram, Twitter etc. I actually liked my Android better for all of that. Photos were loaded directly from the phone to my Google account and then could be shared anywhere including on this Blog. But that is minor compared to the 4 above. Now when I travel I'm not taking my computer. It can sit at home and rest while me and my phone do all the work.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

5 Things I Learned This Week

  1. I have a great family - against adversity we bond and I believe that bond will get stronger
  2. I still love and respect small business especially running strides
  3. I am a big believer in supporting local retail. Shop at your local running store.
  4. I love Chicago and would live here
  5. I am more committed to avoid large farm products and sticking to eating like a vegan with some grass Fed Beef thrown in
That does it for this blog for a week. China does not allow blogging so it's quite time for me. Have a great week everyone!

5 Things I will Do Training for Ironman Lake Tahoe

Yesterday I sat down with my brother Bob. I'm more committed now than ever to embark on this Fuck ALS campaign.

These are the 5 things I will do in training to help me be successful in September.

  1. Swim in the Surf - I can't swim at 6,000 feet but I can swim breathless and swimming through surf will do that. So it's once a week in the surf repeatedly for me. 
  2. Run on Tired Legs - Only Tuesday night on the track with my legs be "Fresh". All other runs will be on tired legs. The point being Ironman is about finishing strong on tired legs. 
  3. Stay Strong - For me doing strength work is a must. I'm a small frame and will wither away in the next 12 weeks if I don't keep working on strength. 
  4. Block Cycling - I don't have all day or all week to ride all the time. I will continue with my 4 days a week 5-6 total hours on the bike but 3 times I will block big days back to back to maximize my cycling. 
  5. Max Rest - I'm 49 and this is my 9th Ironman. I know what's in store over the next 12 weeks. Max rest will help me get through it. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

How Did I Get Here

The Picture above is the lake I grew up in. From 9 years old to 18 this was my home. 
  1. I learned to Swim here 
  2. I learned to fish here
  3. I learned to play hockey here
  4. I chased girls here
  5. I got chased by girls here
  6. I fell through the ice here
  7. I've never been so cold in my life than one winter night on this lake. 
Monday I stopped by this lake put on my wetsuit and swam from one of end to the other and back. Probably 1.4 miles in total. When I was young I would have never swam that far. It took half a day to go there by boat. Of course we had to stop and cast for fish. So the thought of swimming that far was out of the question. When I got back to the beach some young kids were waiting for me. They said Wow, good job, how far did you go! I told them and they were shocked. I would have been too at that age. I told them I grew up on this lake and wouldn't change it for anything. They just smiled. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tell Them and Then Tell Them Again

When selling a running shoe to an end consumer or prospective retailer you tell them what they will feel then tell them again as they try it on. Almost every time they will come back and tell you they felt it. Clearly you have to be confident and know your subject.

It's what great coaches do too. They convince you that you will do it. When you do it the really good ones smile.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Perfect Running Tool

My favorite piece of equipment outside of my running shoes is my running watch. Not my GPS unit, not my heart rate monitor, my watch. I use those other devices on occasion but for the most part I run with my watch. There are only three measurements that matter in running, Time, Distance and Pace. My watch gives me Time, Distance is either known or estimated and Pace comes from the two. It works every single time. No battery to charge, Satellite to locate and no strap across my chest.
Have you ever been running with someone where you are both wearing GPS watches. Ever noticed (of course you did) that the mile markers are not the same. They are clearly within normal variation but rarely if ever are they the same. Using Perceived exertion works the same way without the beeps.

There was a study done recently (when I find it I'll post it here) where two groups of runners were used. Group 1 runs with a watch only and Group 2 runs with GPS. They were asked to go on various runs of various distances using no watch and no GPS. All was on perceived exertion. The runners who wear only the watch were much more accurate with both time and distance. The runners with the GPS were much worse on both Time (Usually too short) and Distance (always too short).

I believe if you want to become a better runner, ditch the GPS and work on the feeling of running.  Three really good ways of doing this.

  1.  The Track - It never lies and neither does your watch. You learn to run pace by feel on the track and you'll get your inner GPS set. 
  2. The Long Run - If you really want to, use your GPS for the first measurement. Then go on feel. Your watch will confirm what you feel on the day. You'll learn to pace that long run to perfection. 
  3. Time Trial - Pick route with no stop lights etc, and time yourself on it regularly. Use various workouts on the same course. Run Fartlek (that's speed play of say 3 min fast, 3 min steady or 2 min fast, 3 min steady), run tempo (say 20 minutes at 1/2 marathon pace) or run steady. Even sometimes run it for time and compare time and feeling to other times you've done it. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

It's in the food

For the past two weeks I have been on it with food. No dairy no junk carbohydrates just real food. I have also been testing a couple aging and brain supplements which I will talk about later. The point is I have been consistent. Yesterday on my Birthday my consistency went out the door. For breakfast I had a Gordy's gluten free Plonk. Gluten free and full of sugar. I bought cookies for the office and had 4 of them, gluten free too. For dinner I wanted to take Mary and Marco to a nice place on the beach where I could order a good clean fresh piece of fish. Yesterday was also Graduation day in Encinitas so no tables were available. We settled on Mexican. Chips and Salsa, Modelo Beer, Rice and Beans loaded with cheese. All very very tasty. By 9pm I was wasted.Not drunk but my stomach felt heavy, my head was foggy and I simply felt awful. By 9:15 I was passed out asleep.

I woke up this morning worn out. Still feeling heavy. I went ahead with base Saturday ride: 3 hours in the big chain ring and then an easy run off the bike. Although I completed the workout it was flat.

During the two weeks I have done the following:

  1. No meat until dinner
  2. Plenty of water
  3. Largest meal at dinner
  4. A glass of wine with Mary
  5. Lots of fruit and veggies no dairy
The load of Mexican food was simply too much. It's the only way to test your food intake.go to simple clean foods for a good deal of time. Then load on Mexican food or a pizza and see what you feel like. I know for sure I don't want to feel like I did Friday night ever again.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Top 6 Athletes of 2013

I'm not an expert, I'm a fan. A fan of people who put their head down and succeed. It's what I strive to do in everything I do. These are my favorite athletes who have done the same so far in 2013.
  1.  Fabian Cancellara - if you watched this man ride Paris Roubax this year you would understand why he is #1 on the list. A simply amazing athlete.
  2.  USA Soccer - Team USA is not only going to qualify for the World Cup next year they will be ranked as a top team. Go USA.
  3. Chris Derrick - I met Chris when he was a senior in High School. He worked at one of the best running stores on the planet, Naperville Running Company. Chris ran with us, listened to our story and was simply fun to be around. It's so good to watch him succeed. The US men finished 2nd in the World Cross Country 12K, in Poland this year. Thanks in part to the hard work of this young runner. 
  4.  Mary Cain - I don't like talking about high school runners unless it's my own. Mary Cane deserves mention. She ran 4:05 1500 meters and under 2 minutes for the 800 which is world class.
  5. Tim Duncan - quite simply the best. Ever heard of Tim in the news for contract talks, crime, anything but basketball. He might win his 5th MAN Championship this year. The man is pure class and all heart.
  6. The Doc - Notice I don't have a triathlete on this list. Spring is simply a prelude to the Fall Championships. There is no sense in picking a hot athlete today because it has no bearing on what will happen later. Instead I pick the coach. He does more for his athletes than most you hear about. He not only coaches them he fights for them. Here he is fighting for his athletes. I fully agree with what he's talking about. The ITU style of racing is good but it can be so much better. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Birthday Workout

My Birthday is on the horizon and it dawned on me that I don't have a Birthday Workout. I'm not sure If I want one but I'm interested in the the thought of a fun and challenging workout. I've participated in others and although I think they can be a bit crazy they are fun at the same time. Below are a few examples. I wonder if anyone reading this has one they want to share?

Mark Montgomery - Mark was one of the best triathletes in the early days of the sport. More importantly he was one of the characters that helped mold what the sport is today. I'm sure he still has some sort of Birthday bash workout but he would do a triathlon in his years, with pushups added in. For instance if he turned 35 he would do 35 X 100 in the pool, ride 35 miles, run 35 minutes and do 35 pushups.

Mike Rouse and Michael Jacobs run their age on their Birthday. I've run with Mike Rouse in Kona, Hawaii on his special day. I ran 22 miles with him, he was running 58 I believe. I ran the last 22 miles with him. He ran an up and back route on Ali'I Drive. Being the nice guy I am I gave mike the best or flattest part of the road. I ran on the steepest cant in the run. My hips hurt for days from that effort.

I have time to think something up. Neither of these really excite me all that much. But maybe!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

5 Ways to Make Free Time

The other day our son was complaining that he got no free time. It's the end of the school year and it is finals week. He goes to school runs and studies that's is.But then I reminded him that his free time is 10 weeks of vacation. He got the point.

My free time is when I Swim,bike,run and read. I found some things that work for me to make the most of the time I have.

  1. I work out early - in the pool at 5 am 4 days a week and on the bike by 6 am 2 days. My easiest if you call running long easy is my long run on Sunday starting at 8am.
  2. I read 30 minutes early before I workout and 30 minutes at night.
  3. My email in box is emptied every day.
  4. I shut my phone off at 6pm
  5. I am willing to give up free time now for free time later. If I know I am going to ride 6 hours on Saturday I give much of it back before I get there. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Finding Motivation

Yesterday  I woke up knowing it was an easy day. A 30 minute swim, a bunch of body work using my injury prevention tools and a day of work. But the motivation to get out of bed was not there. And then it hit me, Bob can't do this. I jumped out of bed and got the day started with my swim. Bob my brother was diagnosed with ALS in April.

For now this is motivation enough to show up and do the work. Sometimes the easy days need more motivation than the hard and some days it's the hard ones. Whatever it is I take Bob along for the ride.

By the way, the water was cold, it was still dark out and the swim felt effortless which is exactly what easy 30  minutes should feel like.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Running Shoe Review: Altra 3-Sum

Just open the link above to read the review. I own these shoes and have my opinion on them but I will leave not share. No need when someone else does it.

I will comment on the name and agree with the reviewer. Who comes up with names anyway. I would like a 3-Sum.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Healing art of Injury Prevention

Runner, triathlons, cyclist, swimmer or just about anybody with aches and pain can benefit from the items pictured above.

Golf Ball
You spend a great deal of time on your feet. If you run you are doubling the effect at least.You also wear poor fitting and maybe even poorly designed shoes. Each morning when you wake up spend two minutes rolling your foot over a golf ball. Start with light pressure and work your way over time to more pressure.You are looking for the parts of your foot that hurt. You want to work that pain out. It is said that Laird Hamilton can stand with all of his weight on a ball. A good goal to have.

Lacrosse Ball
This used mostly on my calf and Achilles. I sit cross legged and use the ball to find the tight areas of my lower leg. Once I find one I use the ball and the pressure of my hand to roll the pain out. The ball can get to places that other things can't. Especially along along the side of the Achilles.

The Skate Wheel Roller -
I like this to roll out my calf. Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front. Put the roller under one leg at the Achilles. Cross your other leg on top to apply pressure. Roll from there all the way to the top of your calf. Still and really work where it hurts.

Orange Roller
Roll your back out. Lay on your front and use this to mash your quads. Works great on the IT band. Can be used like the above roller on your calf but it's not as effective. If you are only going to do one of these things buy one of these rollers. You will find your own uses for it.

The Yoga Strap
Perfect to stretch the hamstring. Lay on your back. Loop a foot with the strap, bring that leg up to stretch your hamstring and use the strap to extend the stretch. You can do the same thing to stretch your hips, groin and your upper body swimming muscles.

Use all of these tools to remove the small tightness that left unchecked can turn to chronic pain or in the athlete it can lead to injury.

It's a good life….

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Tony Melcher Test

In my early days at Road Runner Sports there was this guy who worked on the sales floor named Tony Melcher. Tony was an old school runner. Meaning he ran is tail off. He was an old school shoe guy too. Where I treat shoes with care and respect Tony grabs, twists, turns and bends. One of the ways Tony would test a shoe is grab by the heel, grab by the forefoot and bend the forefoot up and back towards the laces. If the flex point was in the forefoot he'd shake his head with approval. If it was in the arch area he would shake his head and with a grimace on his face he would say "Feet don't bend like that". So after Tony left the company we continued the process and called it the Tony Melcher test. Most of the shoes that failed the test never made it into our warehouse. We simply wouldn't buy them.
Not long ago I had a medical doctor in the office. His specialty is joints and joint surgeries. The first thing he did when he picked up one of our shoes was do a variation of the Tony Melcher test. I asked him why. His comment "Any time a runner comes to me it's serious. I always do this with their shoes. You would be surprised at how many times I see the real serious injuries and a shoe that flexes at the arch. Feet don't bend that way"

The two shoes pictured below are racing shoes. The first is the Ultra Kiawe 2.0. As you can see even with some pressure it bends in the forefoot. The Second shoe is a 156gram shoe we build for the fastest athletes in the world. We don't even sell it. If you run below 6 minute/mile pace in training you can race in this shoe. Your feet are strong enough. If you can't run that fast you have no business being in this shoe. Strong feet can withstand this kind of bend. Weak feet can't and over time something has to give.

Most of the new shoes called running shoes today fail the Tony Melcher Test. I'm not here to pick on other brands, I respect what they do. But I'm here as an advocate for smart running. If your shoes fail this test be very aware of how you feel after every run. There are doctors getting rich today because runners all over the USA went blindly into the minimalist world and didn't do this simple test.

It's a good life....