Thursday, December 17, 2015

Thankful Thursday 12/17/15

These are the things that make me thankful today. 

  1. Learning how to lower the stress/anxiety in my body through deep breathing and concentration on the stress itself. My measuring tool is HR Variability, I can feel the stress leaving my body and go back after I'm done and watch the HR Variability as it rises. As an example yesterday I started in to deep breathing. I took me a minute or so to get to the stress and actually feel it wash away and for the next 5 minutes it was pure peace. When I looked at the results HRV went right with the feeling. HRV at the start was in the 40's or just higher than my resting HR. But as the stress left the body it rose to 89 and stayed there the rest of the time. 
  2. Listening to Joe Rogan interview Lance Armstrong. I've stood behind Lance forever. That doesn't mean I agree with his idiocy. It simply means I get what he did to the people around him and can still appreciate what he did when on the bike. I'm thankful that I got to see that kind of cycling. The best thought was when the interview was done and Joe Rogan was simply talking about the interview. He said something that I wrote about a few years ago. He said "He's Just a Guy". 
  3. Cool morning air - It's quite cool in the mornings now. Much cooler than we've seen in the last 2 years. I love walking the dog in the morning and seeing my breath. It's a nice way to wake up. 
  4. Uptight people - I've never been one on social media to leave a comment like "This is a load of crap". Look I'm thankful to understand your point of view and not get to upset by it. Please feel free to call bullshit when ever you want. 
  5. The Avocado - It's like the perfect food. I'm thankful that I live in a place where they grow. It's so great to have fresh Avocados. I eat one every day. 
It's a good life....

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Breath Deep and Positive Self Talk

These are the things I am working on to remove the stress and anxiety of life.

Mark Devine of Seal Fit  had a great podcast on dealing with the emotion of anxiety. If you are dealing with some as I have it's totally worth listening to. It's 90 days of daily practice and it's worked wonders for me.

It's a good life....

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Thankful Thursday 12/10/15

These are the things that make me smile this week and say thanks:

  1. Masters Swimming didn't kill me today. I toughened up and was in the pool at 6:00am 3500 yards later and a few hours and I'm still cold. 
  2. The high of the run on Tuesday with Marco. Nothing better than that! 
  3. A world view. The headlines are troubling. If you just read the headlines it would appear that this country that I love so much is falling apart. Traveling around the world and seeing the struggles first hand of the people of the world makes me so thankful to be an American. We are lucky to have this country even with all of its faults. 
  4. Tim Ferris and his podcast - His interview with Jamie Fox was simply outstanding. Funny, heartwarming and the ultimate in living the American dream. 
  5. The local community. At every turn there is support. I ran into a long time swimming friend. She and I swam masters at Carlsbad, Solana Beach and now at the YMCA. Her oldest son joined the Army after a year in college and is now a Special Operator. She doesn't know my wife but offered full support for Mary as we enter the world of the US Military. 
It's a good life....

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Doing the Unexpected

I wrote down in my journal. Do something unexpected today. I had no idea it would only take 10 minutes.
It's a good life...

Thursday, December 3, 2015

How to Make Your Day Great

Yesterday I got the chance to listen to Joe Desena talk. Joe is the creator of the Spartan Race series. Joe is a motivating guy but not in the rah rah sense. He's gets straight to the point and says things very matter of fact like.

His Quote "I get up most morning do 200-300 Burpees and then take a cold shower. There is nothing pleasant about 200 burpees in fact they suck and a cold shower is simply terrible. When I do that though I know my day can't possibly be worse but in fact I know my day is going to get better from there."

We often go out the door to make the run, ride or swim the best part of our day. I think getting up early to be in the pool by 6 am totally sucks. In fact it's one of the worst feelings I know. This is especially true in the winter, even in San Diego. Buy I do it because my days is always better knowing that crap is done with.

It's a good life...

Monday, November 30, 2015

Swim Test

Did a Swim test today with some good results. Given the pain in my shoulder earlier I'm quite happy with the result.

The test:
1000 Yards
Hold to every third stroke breathing for as long as possible (this means breath on both sides).

I did this test in August and swam 14:55
Breathing held through the swim.

I did this test one month ago after a 3 week break 15:25
Breathing went to every other stroke after 400

Today 14:51
Breathing held to 800 yards.

My swimming over the last month has been.

4 days/week.
Monday: Easy no stress 30 minutes
Tuesday - Band Work
Thursday - Band Work
Saturday- Band Work

70% of the swims have been with a band around my ankles.and swim snorkle
60% of that was Band and Buoy - No paddles (remember the shoulder)
40% is Band no Buoy - Just try it!
Interval rest 10 seconds.

In other words all strength no speed in the pool.

It's a good life..

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

All Done NYC Now Off to Beijing

I've been to China so many times it's weird to have China come to me. I just finished the NYC running shoe analysis. I get lot's of requests or questions regarding what I do. Apparently others want do do this in their part of the world. They ask "how long does it normally take". When I tell them, I never hear back from them. NYC took roughly 80 hours of work.

This weekend I get to start on the Beijing Marathon. This time they came to me with everything I need. I never have to leave Cardiff for this one.

Aside from that:

I ran 40 minutes, swam enough to not hurt my shoulder and spent 30 minutes in the gym.

It's a good life....

Monday, November 23, 2015

2 hour Learning Lesson I mean Bike Ride

I went on an easy bike ride on a most beautiful day. It was summer in November and it was simply amazing to be out on the bike in shorts and short sleeves. On easy days when on my own I'll listen to podcasts. I'm really into clearing out my mind and learning to communicate better so I listen to Tim Ferris, The New Man and for long rides Joe Rogan. On this day I listened to Tim Ferris and Alian de Botton. 

It was great! If you've got 2 hours of riding or driving I highly suggest it.

It's a good life...

Friday, November 20, 2015

Stress It's not Always Bad

Yesterday was one heck of a day. I managed a short swim and short but heavy ride. The rest of the day from 4:30am until I pulled into the driveway at 9:00pm was work. I like the stress of doing three things to add up to one. Running market research, Shoe Ranger and then managing two struggling running stores. It's enough to keep the stress meter high but manageable.

It's a good life..

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Thankful Thursday

  1. For the life a shared with my Brother Bob. Today he would have turned 56
  2. For the relationship between our son and his coach. 4 years ago I told him he needed men in his life besides me. He found a good one in his coach.
  3. For the running shoe industry that gives me such joy to be a part of it.
  4. For my new Wahoo Kicker that makes riding in doors like I did yesterday, fun.
It' s a good life....

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Running and no Pain

Got a good run in yesterday in the early morning light. Super easy 30 minutes with 8 x 20 second strides to finish. I love that simple yet very effective run work out.

Did an easy 1,000yds in the pool. No pain in the pool and only slight post. Good sign.

It's a good life....

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Riding into the Wind

Monday is coffee ride day. We all leave from different parts of town and meet up for coffee. The wind was howling yesterday. All of the surf in the picture is wind generated. It measure 20mph with gusts of 30mph. My route took me directly into the wind. Because I was in no hurry and had no agenda my ride was easy. I did not push through the wind I simply put enough into the pedals to move forward.

I find often that I'm trying to push through the wind in life. Yesterday taught me a good lesson. Relax, enjoy it and take what it gives.

The ride home was quite different. I barely pedaled.

It's a good life...

Monday, November 16, 2015

Shoulder Therapy

That red ball cost me $2.98 and it's been my buddy for years now. Over the weekend I've used it to root out the poor mechanics induced swimmer's shoulder. It's not severe but it would get severe if I didn't address the impingement and the mechanics. The mechanics part to me is easy, I know what I'm doing wrong. Red ball do your thing!

I love no stress bike rides. Sunday morning is the best time to ride a bike around here. Very light traffic on the roads, usually sunny and quite peaceful. It was nice to get out on the bike for a couple hours of stress free riding.

It's a good life.....

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Running with Power

Had the best run since starting back up. It felt totally effortless until I finished it with 6 x 30 seconds hard uphill. The Stryd Power Meter told me the run was easy. Although I ran faster than the day before I used 20% less power. I have a theory I'm going to test on this power for running.

In the afternoon I went for a swim and realized I messed up my right shoulder. At least right now I think it's my shoulder. The pain shows itself as fire in my right tricep muscle. But I can comfortable do pull ups which tells me it's not the muscle but the shoulder. I'll use the Supple Leopard and rest to see if I can fix the issue. It can't be serious because I've done nothing serious in the pool. Just a minor setback.

It's a good life....

Friday, November 13, 2015

Still Learning - Swim Training

Bought a swim snorkel the other day.

Plan on using it regularly to work on my body position in the water.

At the same time I'm easy my way into the water after a good rest.

My Swim:

600 Warm up - Easy - I'm working in the warm up on my survival stroke. As our son prepares for Marine Boot Camp and beyond I decided to work on the survival stroke with him. It's a good change of pace. The other day a Special Operator was in the pool and same stoke for stroke with me. Me swimming a 1000yard timed swim freestyle and he swimming survival stroke. We had a good conversation after that.

Main Set - 200 with snorkel, paddles, pull buoy and ankle band, 2 x 100 snorkel, paddles and ankle band ending with 4 x 50 no toys perfect form. I did this twice through. The 200 with all the toys felt smooth. The 2 100's without the buoy was the learning. My first 100 was finished in 1:45. On the 200 that felt easy I average 1:25. The effort to swim that 100 was immense. Trying to keep my legs afloat was difficult. Can't wait to do that again.

It's a good life...

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Iron----Man and Shoes

This is a quick update.

I've done some blood testing over the last year that shows a host of things to work on. One glaring marker is the Iron content in my blood. What I know under the medical side is my Iron content is on the high side but not alarming. On the functional medicine side it's alarming. What's most alarming is that there is one way to reduce iron, give blood. I've done that 4 times this year. In each case the iron content goes down. Not long after that however the iron content goes back up.

Next Steps
1. Ordered a Genetic test from 23 and Me to determine if the iron issue is genetic.
2. If genetic there is an exemption to get from a doctor to give blood faster than the allowed amount of once every 58 days.
3. If it's not continue to give blood and measure to determine the correct cadence.

Current ferritin level is 160 and goal is below 100.

Next up I'm back into fitness. It's going slow and I like that. I've rushed my fitness way to much in my former years. There is no rush right now. Simply feel better each time I go out is the goal.

I've started a You Tube channel for Shoe Ranger. I'm not sure how where it will go but It's been fun so far.
It's a good life....

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

My Running Form Review

2014 Team Time Trial
Fresh off a year of undue stress. 
Failed Attempt the week prior of Ironman 70.3 Tahoe where fires canceled the race. 
A concussion suffered the day before should have caused me to drop from the start line but this is the team time trial where bragging rights and family pride are on the line. 
 2015 Team Time Trial 
A year reducing unwanted stress
10 weeks of running at or below MAF unless it's a race
No concussion! 

  1. My arms are in the same position as is my head. 
  2. In the picture at the top (blue shirt) my hips leaning back preparing for the next step. 
  3. In the more recent picture my hips are driving forward. 
  4. In 2014 I got passed by an adult just before this picture was taken. 
  5. In 2015 I was passing people (kids) and was the first adult across the line. 
It's a good life....

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Is Social Media Killing Your Sleep?

  1. It's strange to buy a shoe, wear test it and then prepare to write a review on it when 18 months ago I wrote the brief, reviewed the first blue print and set the wheels in motion to make the shoe. 
  2. I raced on Sunday and had a really good race. Sprinting is not my forte but it's quite fun. There is only one way to race, go until you can't. I had a great race within the race. I came up on this young guy and urged him to stay with me. I said "don't let the old guy beat you". We still had 1 mile to run. He ran out of his mind and finished 1 second behind me. It didn't matter that I was already 6 minutes ahead of him due to my later wave start. Then it hit me "This kid is half my age" and then it instantly hit me again "I am not half the age of anyone racing today" Strange. 
  3. I was listening to my friend Tawnee on Endurance Planet. It was an Ask the Coaches edition. There was a question from a listener about sleep problems. The listener was waking up every 90 minutes during the night. I did some research on the listener. She has sent 86,000+ tweets since she started on twitter. I would start there and shut it off. Go two weeks without twitter and see what happens to your life. I'm betting after the initial shock you will end up sleeping better. 
It's a good life....

Monday, August 24, 2015

My Sunday Ride

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, August 21, 2015

Five Things to Keep Calm

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

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

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

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

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

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

It's a good life.....

Friday, August 14, 2015

2 Reminders this Week

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

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

It's a good life.....

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Knowing What You Want

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

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

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

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

It's a good life.....

Monday, August 10, 2015

Measuring Fitness

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

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

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

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Blood Sugar and Bacon Wrapped Avocado

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

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

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

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

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

It's a good life.....

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

MAF Testing July 28, 2015

Finally got it done. My last test was May 9 and since that test I've only made one change to my running. I've increased the volume. On May 9 my long run was 8 miles and my weekly time spent running was 4 hours. This past week my long run was just shy of 13 and my weekly total was 5.5 hours of running. All of it at MAF or below.

My MAF HR Range is 130-140. My true MAF HR based on the formula and the allowances 180 - 51 = 129 + 5 for being consistent in training, injury free and never sick.

My Results
May 9, 2015
Mile #1: 10:37
Mile #2: 9:55
Mike #3: 10:00
30 Minutes : 2.85miles

July 28, 2015
Mile #1: 9:23
Mile #2: 9:45
Mile #3: 9:42
30 Minutes: 3.13

My other training has been fairly consistent.
3 days on the bike
3 days in the water
2-3 days lifting heavy things.

It's a good life....

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Weekend Update and the Failed MAF Test

By the time Friday night came along I was wasted tired. I'd spent Friday going back and forth between two stores trying to motivate folks and get them prepared for what was expected to be a big weekend.

Saturday rolled around the the thunder storms that we never see here on the Southern coast of California, were moving through. Hard rain followed the lightning and thunder. I was out the door at 6:30am to set up for a couple group runs.

Believe it or not some hearty runners showed up to run. Home by noon and Mary wanted to shop with me. She never want's to shop with me so I took the time to spend the afternoon with my wife. We had a good time although it was raining most of the day. 

By the time we got home I had a choice, ride my bike or take a nap. I chose sleep and finally got out the door at 4:00. I walked the dog for 45 minutes and it felt great. 

Saturday night Marco and I went to see a movie. Terminator. He liked it.

Sunday - Long Run

I figured 7am would be goog. Generally I can run 2 hours with no water. I was wrong on Sunday. The sun came out early and the moisture in the ground from the day before turned to humidity. By the time I hit 1:40 I was cooked. I finished and quickly filled my body with cool water and electrolytes. The day got hotter and more humid until 2pm when the showers returned. It rained through the night.

Marco and I hit the gym for an hour. He's one strong young man.

Monday I got out the door early for an easy swim. I love the feeling of movement and especially movement with no pounding. Then it was off to rid the body of Iron (I have too much) as well as give back to those in need. I gave blood. I do it every 56 days which is the limit.

They say when you give blood, "don't do anything strenuous for 24 hours".

Tuesday I decided to execute a MAF test. It's not strenuous! During the first 10 minutes of the test all was ok, pace was good and everything felt fine. Then shortly after, everything felt fine but my Heart Rate was 159. Then it was 175 but my heart didn't feel like it was in my throat. Then I remembered, the last time I did the MAF test on this track my Heart Rate was skipping around. I thought it was the guy on the track I kept passing who also had a heart rate monitor on. Today there was nobody on the track but me. When the body and the monitor didn't match I shut the test down. I turned the monitor off and just ran for an hour.

We live in outdoor lifestyle central. There are 3,000 people who run the coast highway in Encintas/Cardiff every day. There are 3 championship level pools with master's programs daily and there are high schools all around with beautiful tracks. All the tracks are locked down with no public access. It's such a shame to drive by a track and not see it in use.

Not to be outdone by the issues of tracks (by the way it's a sand track) with interference or tracks locked up. I'm off to my secret park to do my MAF test on Sunday. Details to follow.

It's a good life....

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

My MAF Running Plan

One of the great things about a MAF running plan is there is no prep time for the run. I can get out and run at MAF (Max Aerobic Fitness) any time of the day. One of my favorite trails is literally right across the street from our house. It's an undulating trail made up of wide wood chipped trails, single track and a long gradual uphill in grass. One lap is 1.3 miles. It's real easy get 4 miles in "quickly" without ever leaving the community. I've even at times done multiple laps on the mountain bike.

The green start arrow is our house. 

Yesterday I swam with the Master's Group. I usually do that twice a week. The lane I usually swim in was full (8 swimmers) and the two next to it were empty. I jumped into one of the empty lanes and some of the swimmers from my normal lane jumped in. The normal lane is a 1:35/100 lane. The lane I jumped into is typically the 1:30/100 lane. The coach "Hux" said "you swim in this lane it's 1:30". Everyone pointed to me to lead. About half way through the main set Hux yells at the people following me "Come on you should be ashamed you are letting a skinny runner kick your butt". 

I got out knowing. Before figuring out my "health" issues and backing off on the run pace I would not have lead that lane. Yesterday I just kept getting stronger as the Swim workout continued on. 

It's a good life....

Saturday, July 11, 2015


Where do you get your motivation? Our son spent 8 days with the Air Force PJs.  This is what one of the PJs drilled into his head. It had such an impact that Marco pasted it to his wall.

He was on a long run today and the boredom started to get to him and then this came into his mind.

It's a good life....

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Long Slow Return

Months ago enough was enough. Nothing was working the way I wanted it physically and emotionally. I needed a change. I'll go more in depth on the full transformation when it's finished. It involves a parasite, heavy iron, completely out of sorts insulin levels and then some other minor findings. 

The first thing I did was take 2 weeks off of any activity. I didn't run, swim, ride my bike or do much other than sleep, walk or work. 

Then I started running again. I capped my heart rate. You could say I chose the MAF method (180 - age gives you MAF heartrate) but whatever I capped it. I started with a total of 15 miles for the week. Today I'm running 33 miles a week, riding (at the same capped HR) and swimming. My running schedule. 

Monday off
Tuesday Medium run (1/2 of the long run) 
Wednesday short run (1/4 of the long run) 
Thursday Medium (1/2 of the long run) 
Friday Short Run (1/4 of the long run) 
Saturday Short Run (1/4 of the long run) 
Sunday Long run. 

Short runs are 10 beats below the capped HR. Medium runs are run as 1st half 5-10 beats below capped 2nd half at capped. Long run is done as all but the last 3 miles done 5-10 beats below capped and the last 3 miles at the capped HR. 

This week my runs are Medium 6 miles, short 3 miles and long 12 miles. Then there are rules in all of this: 

  1. Run trails 90% of the time. 
  2. Take adventure runs when possible. 
  3. Stop at the designated distance and walk it in. For instance today I hit 3 miles and then walked for 8 minutes back to the car. 
  4. Do strides at the end of the medium runs. I do 6-8 controlled fast strides. 

 Sometimes My work takes me to adventure running. Leadville Colorado is spectacular. 

 My dog is always my warm up in the morning. I walk casually while she runs around hunting for gophers. She's my pal. 

I am lucky where I live. There are trails everywhere. This trail head is 10 minutes or slightly more from the house and it goes for miles and miles and miles. It's challenging to which I like. 

My Results so far. 
  1. My pace is slowly but surely picking up at the capped HR. 
  2. Running never hurts. I used to be sore after hard runs. I have no hard runs right now and running at that capped HR is rather stress free. 
  3. In the past I'd get to 30-40 miles and it would be hard to go any further. Today I'm looking at getting into the 45 mile/week range and sticking to it for weeks. I don't see any reason why I won't be able to do it. 
None of this is new information to me. I've always known this is the way I should be running. I've never done that because of a number of reasons.Those reasons were not getting me anywhere. So enough was enough. 

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

Friday, March 13, 2015

Hard Work Plus Talent Pays Off

This week has been a reminder that hard work and talent pay off. It started last Sunday and it remains a constant reminder through the week.

Last Sunday we did the World Famous Tuesday Run loop. I was reminded just how hard that run was. It got me thinking about our regular three day adventure when I was young, had no family and only worked 35 hours a week.

Tuesday - The Tuesday run - A super hilly run on horse trails with the best triathlon had to offer. There was always a race during the Tuesday Run and there were those of us who used it as a workout. In other words I followed whatever Paula was doing for the day. Generally the total run was 80 minutes. Sunday we did it in 94 minutes and it was hard. We would eat breakfast then hop on our bikes for the 12 mile ride to the pool and noon masters. I'd ride home after masters, Shower, eat and be at work by 2:30. Depending on which job I was working, I'd close the store at 11:00 or 9:00pm.

Wednesday - The World Famous Wednesday Ride - Up the coast to San Clemente and back. Once on the Marine Base the pace would pick up all the way to San Clemente. We'd make it back to Carlsbad in time for noon Master's Swim. I'd get home eat and be at work by 2:30 to close.

Thursday - Master's Swim in the morning. Work all day. Track Workout at 7pm. More hard running.

That work along with long runs and rides on the weekend made me strong. I made it to Kona on that work. I made it to Hilton Head on that work. I won my age group often on that work. I was tired most of the time.

Our son is 16 and a very talented runner. He works at it but he doesn't work very hard. He's allowed his talent to take him each season to success. He knows to get to the next step he has to work hard. He's fighting that thought. 90 minute runs alone at 16 simply are not fun. I can't imagine doing that, but that's the missing component in his running and he knows it. Only he can decide if he wants it. If he chooses it will be worth a lifetime of memories.

It's a good life....

Monday, March 9, 2015

A Week Worth Repeating..........

Long ago when our son Marco chose running as his sport I was in shock. I said "You know running really hurts." He said he wanted to do it. He was 11. On Friday at the age of 16 and in the middle of his Junior year he received his first letter of request from a University. It said "We've been watching your running and you had a great country season last fall. We would really like you to come run with us.

On Saturday we watched him run his first track race in almost 2 years. He sat out the entire track season last spring because of a broken hand. The day was really hot on Saturday. Coach told him to sit in and don't go out with the early leaders. The early leader was too fast for anyone to hand with. He ended up running 4:43. Marco sat in third place for three laps. He looked relaxed. His face showed no strain. With one lap to go he surged ahead. The guy he passed stayed with him, as the two pulled away from the rest of the field. With 200 to go there was a gap. At 100 to go there was no gap and the guy was pulling along side. Dead sprint. They exchanged places twice in the final 100. Marco go him in a lean. We talked afterword and he said "Man that hurt" I asked "the entire race or the last 200" he thought about it and said "The last 200". I smiled and said "You have no idea how fast you are do you?"

Shoe Ranger got off to a great start. If your favorite shoe has changed, check it out. It works!

There is a guy I've seen at the pool for years. He's one fast 50+ dude who is fit as anything. We always have a good conversation. He's currently training for Boston. For the longest time he wore everything Zoot. Last week when I talked to him I told him I was no longer at Zoot. We talked about Shoe Ranger and my contract gig with New Balance. Today we walks into the pool wearing a New Balance.

It's a good life.....

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Caffeine Free The Week I Launch a Busines?

I'm a student of the morning routine. I used to marvel at my father and his mornings. Any time I see someone post on a blog or talk about it on a podcast I take notes. It's where my morning cold shower came from. Tony Robbins said to do that.

Recently Ben Greenfield said he goes 3 weeks on caffeine and 1 week off. I've thought often that I drink too much coffee. This week I decided to go caffeine free. DURING THE FIRST WEEK OF THE LAUNCH OF SHOE RANGER! Am I stupid?

Day three is in the books. Day 1 was tough. I had a head ache at 3pm. Day #2 was easy. On both the sleep at night was incredibly sound.

On Day 1 I was waling the dog early in the morning. The other dog walkers asked me how the website was going. I said "We are launching today". They shook their head and said "How can you be so calm?". "No Caffeine"

It's a good life....

Friday, February 27, 2015

Running Shoe Wear Testing

I was contacted by a company to test a new race flat. I put them on the faster Jewell for some testing.

I will let the brand announce them when they are ready.

 He's suffering from a major cold which explains the Breathe Right Nasal Strip. 
 All the boys running a metric mile time trial. 
 Lap #1 is done
Those are some strong legs.

It's a good life.....

Friday, February 20, 2015

Five For Friday: Year 50

I have probably used this picture too many tines. This is Annecy, France. It's spectacular! I would go back just to sit in this setting again.

When I looked up to 50 year olds I had this vision, of calm, confident, experienced men. Maybe I looked at my father too much. He was an ass in his 30s and 40s but became my father in his 50s. He had those qualities even when things weren't going right.

This is year #1 of my 50s. Five things I've learned so far.

  1. Plan your family around it. Screwy as this sounds my wife and I waited 5 years before we started thinking about kids. At the age of 51 our son will be out of the house. I love him and will miss him but I look forward to that day for him. I will also welcome calm.
  2. It's never to late to start a business. The darn thing seems to be taking forever but I hear that's normal. 
  3. You can become fit at 50. Ok I get it I haven 't been unfit but that's not true. For 8 years I focused on business and traveled over 100,000 miles a year. In my mind I was fit but I was not. I am now. Nothing hurts and I ran 2 hours on Wednesday and it felt like 30 minutes. I did not run 2 hours feeling that good in the last 8 years. 
  4. Don't think that my fitness is because of running. I am feeling this way because I made a strong commitment to getting strong. Look up Turkish Get Up. The better I can do that the better my running has become. Right now my max is three rounds (right and left side) with 30lbs. 
  5. Listen to your dog. For a long time I worried where our dog was when we were out together constantly calling her. This winter I let go. On our walks I look for her twice and she's always there. She is smart enough to feel the calm. The more I call her and worry the more she stays away. The more calm I am the more she wants to stay closer. She reminds me daily that there is nothing more important than right now. 
It's a good life....

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Is Maximalism Here to Stay?

The New York Times is great and finding the trends. They did a great job of promoting and then bashing barefoot running. Yesterday I think Hoka won the day thanks to their latest article.

My thoughts on the subject.

  1. For the General running public Max Cushion shoes are much better than the barefoot trend. 
  2. Don't believe the Runner's World Guy in the Article, maximal shoes do not promote a barefoot running stride. 
  3. The shoes won't last longer in fact they might last less. I wrote about this subject last week on Shoe Ranger
  4. Business: I was in the local running store talking to one of the sales guys. I asked him how many Brooks Adrenaline pairs he sells vs Hoka the brand. He said not even close. Easily 5 Brooks to ever Hoka. That's just one Brooks shoe. Then I went on to explain, Hoka,  Newton and Zoot joined the market on the extreme edge of technology or sport. The brand who successfully races to the middle of the shoe wall where the Adrenaline sits will stand a chance to join the exclusive club of top brands. Hoka is headed there. They have a track spike and a middle of the road shoe. Newton is heading there (maybe), Zoot is heading there. There is not room for all three and the general feeling of retailers is "We like you where you are, we have the middle covered". It's going to be fun. 
  5. Business #2: Saucony, Brooks, Asics, Nike and adidas are not sitting back watching Hoka with admiration. They don't sell 550,000 pairs of shoes they sell Millions. Nike and adidas make 550,000 pair mistakes all the time. These brands live in the middle and have no problem racing to the edge from time to time. 
It's a good life....

Monday, February 16, 2015

Strong and Fast

Sunday morning I did my third shoe count in three weeks. It's quite funny that the first one and the third one were in virtually the same place. I'm busy bettering my craft at doing this. Clearly I don't think anyone is as geeky about what people run in as I am. Who else would do this three weeks in a row. Or maybe even 4.

After I did the count I decided to go running. The weather the last 4 days has been summer. It's hot like summer, the nights are warm like summer and the snakes are out.  Recently my running has been hit and miss. The miss is due to incredible tightness in my hips. I've tried to figure out where it's coming from. I've figured out it's the following not in order:

  1. Stress - Too much recently. 
  2. Age - Every Guy my age or older says they feel it in their hips. 
  3. Running Speed work + Heavy Weights. 
Stress I can control. Hips can be a problem but I've also found with lots of "Ready to Run" practice I can get rid of the pain. So then it comes to #3. I've decided my body can't handle both. heavy weights and heavy running. One of them has to go. 

On my run today I put on the HR monitor and set the limit. I use the MAF formula of 180-age+5 which comes to 135. At 135 running is not even an effort. I did a run that typically takes me 60 minutes to do and did it in 1:20 and felt great about it.This included a set of 5 strides at the end.  I finished happier than I started and there was 0 hip pain. 

In the late afternoon I hit the heavy weights. My goal is maximum weight lifted. Which is weight x reps x sets. 3900lbs is my level right now. Next week I'll increase that weight. I do this three times a week right now and will do it for 5-6 weeks to make sure I'm really strong. All the while my running will stay pegged at that HR. 

It's a good life....

Friday, February 13, 2015

What's Happening With the World of Dave

It's been a craze few weeks.

First and foremost the big project is almost ready to launch. is at 90% and should be close to 100% in the next week. This has been an huge effort. Lots of sweat, tears ($$$$) and time spent on a keyboard. The goal from the start is to make the running shoe buying process easier on the runner. That way runners can enjoy running.

You may have noticed that I'm not as frequent on social media. Part of that is because I  feel it's a drain on my time but also because I'm more frequently on the Shoe Ranger social media. You can find them on Facebook and Twitter. 24 hours a day of running shoe information.

If you are in San Diego you've probably seen me at the local running races. Two weeks ago it was the Cardiff Kook, last week San Dieguito Half Marathon and this weekend I'll be on the course at the California 10/20. This is all preparation for another piece of work I'm doing. Next weekend is the real test at the Gasparilla races in Tampa, Florida. It's funny I started my running shoe career and met my future mother-in-law (I didn't know my wife then) at the Gasparilla Distance Classic. I think it's fitting that I start a potentially really cool project at this same event.

It's a good life....

Friday, February 6, 2015

Five for Friday: Building a Running Shoe

My last day at adidas was spent working on a running shoe. The developers I was working with said "It's your last day, why does this matter?" I said "Because it's important to runners". That shoe the Supernova Adapt went on to win Editor's Choice from Runner's World and the boys at adidas bought be a beer in Boston where they got their trophy.

And here we go again. Not the exact same scenario but close. One of the last things I did at Zoot was make sure these shoes got to Runner's World in time.

The Five Key things it took to build this shoe

  1. My partner developer and I spent 2 hours at a running store watching people buy and trying on as many shoes as we could. We then wrote the product brief while sitting on the floor of the store. This was February/March of 2013. 
  2. We challenged our thinking tremendously. We had a system called BareFit and I said "Let's do BareFit with a tongue". The developer first said "Can't be done". I challenged him to do it. Only because he is so talented I knew he could get it done. 
  3. The midsole is a known process in the shoe world but it was a first time for Zoot. I'm known for my penchant to not accept ok. We trashed the first two molds or about $18,0000. 
  4. The developers in China made a sample by mistake that opened the fit "Which is what we wanted". Sitting in the factory days before production I asked them to make that mistake a process. They said "That's crazy, we can't do that". Again I knew they were so talented that it could be done. They did it. 
  5. We traveled to Asia 6 times for this shoe and probably each spent 2 months of our time in total sitting in a factory. 
It's a good life....

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A Man in the Making

One of the Marines last week suggested we pick up the book Chosen Soldiers. It's a story about how young men become Special Force operators. To clear up the term Special Forces is often misused. In the Military it refers to the Army Green Beret.

A couple things stand out to me.

"You may be deep in country talking to a village chief where you ARE the United States of America" That's a powerful statement.

Then there are stories of these guys who are chosen off the street to become SF. They don't go the standard way of enlisting, doing your time for years and then moving on to SF. They enlist and go strait to SF. So far every one of the stories is this:

  1. Speaks a second language
  2. Lived outside the USA
  3. Is driven
I think about our little boy who speaks Spanish fluently and would pick up German again quickly because he lived there. He's been to 27 countries and has given his time to help others the last three summers. 

There is not telling if our 16 year old will hold his dream to become a Special Operator. If he does the Army SF would get my vote right now. 

It's a good life....

Friday, January 30, 2015

5 for Friday: Why I Like Indoor Cycling

I've spent all winter riding indoors except for my weekly Saturday Ride. I've ridden indoors when it's raining outside. I've ridden indoors when it's warm and sunny which it is most of the time. It's easy to go outside in San Diego. It takes some focus to stay indoors. I'm not afraid of cars so that's not why I do it. You can see in the background my road bike sitting against my paddle board both asking for my attention.

  1. Bang for the Buck - There are no stop lights indoors and there are no down hills. 
  2. Controlled Pain - You can control pain better indoors. In my case that means go hard. 
  3. Short Hard Intervals - On this day I did 5 x 5 minutes at 100 - 110% threshold heart rate. It's really difficult to find a place that isn't 40 minutes ride first to do this on the roads. It's really easy to get on the bike warm up for 25 minutes and be done in 60 minutes. 
  4. Results - My 40 minute time trial has gotten faster over the winter. 
  5. My Wife likes it - she is afraid of cars. She likes that she doesn't have to worry about me indoors. 
Two workouts I like doing. 

3 x 15 minutes at 95% of threshold - This is hard because the interval is long and the effort is hard. 
9 x 2 minutes at 110% of threshold - I like this better than 5 x 5 

Both of these can be done in 60 minutes. I generally do the 3 x 15 in 75 minutes to give me more warm up. I run 20-30 minutes off the bike on these days. Those runs suck until they don't. 

One thing I've learned. In general while riding you don't grip hard on the bike you kind of just rest your hands there and bend the elbows. No upper body tension. When I go hard and it starts to get really hard I grip the bars with full tension like a sprinter. When I do that I get that extra 10% out of my legs that I need to finish the effort. This also works if you need to get that last pull up or whatever lift you are tying to do.  

It's a good life....

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What's Your 5 Year Plan

As I stated few weeks back I wanted to get Marco in front of Men. Men who he respects and who could have influence on him in ways that I can't. It's important for young men to have their father but also to have the influence of men.

Monday he and I met a couple of retired Marines for Tea and Coffee. One of the Marines came prepared with questions in his little book for Marco. The first one just warmed my heart.

"What's Your 5 Year Plan?"

At 16, 5 years seems far away. You and I know that 5 years blows by fast. I wish someone would have said that to me at 16 or 20 or 30. It took me to almost 35 before I learned that 5 years is a good number to plan out.

On Tuesday Marco and I laid out his 5 year plan. It was a special time and most importantly it was his idea.

It's a good life....

Monday, January 26, 2015

In the Midst of Chaos

This was my Friday:

3:45 Wake Up - Thinking of the work I would have to do during the day. Deadlines, Deadlines, Deadlines. Worried about my financial situation. We have lots of $ but my stress is trying to make sure I don't waste it trying to build a business that doesn't succeed. That's not healthy.

5:00am - Coffee on the couch with the Dog, doing the work that was on my mind.

5:20am - Relief that it's all (business/$) taken care of. Wondering where Mary is and knowing that waking her up when she didn't want to be woken up is risky. It's a school day but it's also finals day and maybe she doesn't have a final first period that she forgot to tell me about.

5:30am - "DAVID, WHY DIDN'T YOU WAKE ME UP" - Shit

5:45am - Her coffee in my hand, her breakfast made I walk up to check in on her progress. That didn't go well.

5:46am - Niki and I head out in the dark to enjoy the stars, the sunlight on the horizon and our solitude in our park.

6:10am - I am in the shower. Cold water running over me. The perfect way to startle me awake. It's all good now.

6:35am - Knock on the Door "Marco it's 6:35. Don't worry you have plenty of time. Turn your music on and let's get up". I never have to wake him up. He's always in the shower by 6:20. He heard the debate in the bathroom at 5:45 and turned his alarm clock off.

7:20am - He's out the door ready for his final day of the semester.

7:30am - Meditation time. Whew!

8:15am - Where's the Handy Man - Text Him - Reschedule

8:30am - Heading to the coffee shop to read the paper. Yes I find when chaos starts the day, a quiet reading of the paper is a good thing.

8:35am - Text from Marco - Bring my books at 9:50. What books and where might I find them?

9:50am - I'm standing outside the school wondering if I interpreted his short text correctly. I didn't I have one of the books but not the other. He's upset kind of and doesn't thank my effort.

And so this is how my Friday started out. What did I learn:

  1. It's just work - It will get done when it gets done. You know from vast experience you can't expect from others what you expect from yourself so just take a deep breath. 
  2. I would have reacted just like Mary and Marco did. Now that I see their reactions I will not. I will be openly humble about my dumb ass mistakes. 
  3. The Sweet Beat App is gold. It told me this morning that relaxing and recovery were important. I chose to not do anything physical. To sit in the sun enjoy it's warmth and execute a flawless day. 
It's a good life.....

Friday, January 23, 2015

Five for Friday: Getting Strong

This has become my morning routine. I have taken my cold shower and then bundle up. With a book or kindle in hand I read for 30-45 minutes. Niki always joins me and it's the only time she's allowed on the couch. On this particular morning she was extra close because she knows she got me up at 3am to go outside. The day before she had dug up a gopher and before I could snatch it out of her mouth (It was still alive and ready to bite my hand) Niki crunched it in her jaw and the swallowed it whole. That's my girl.

This time of year is always loaded with new and improved weight loss/muscle building stuff. If you look at all the things on the market it's no wonder we are still an overweight society. It's overload and there is too much to choose. I'm confident the market is confused. For the last couple years I've been working on simplifying my strength work. Consistency has been my problem but once I'm consistent it's simplification I'm after. Over the last few weeks I've tried to get back to the gym and some normal weight training but it's so much hassle. Waiting for the single squat rack and then feel like I'm being rushed through it is just no fun. It's back to simplification for me and here are my top 5.

  1. 3 days a week every hour (roughly 5 times) I get up from my computer and do 5 full tension ab crunches, 5 full tension full motion push ups, 3 full tension to straight arm pull ups and 20 deep body weight squats. Full tension is tight abs and butt. Tight as if I'm preparing to get kicked. 
  2. 2 days a week not any of those three, I do the following. 5 X 10 kettle bell swings. 5 turkish get ups with the Kettle bell. 3 x 10 Kettle Bell front squats, 3 x 10 20lb ball slams. 
  3. I wake up and have 20-25 grams of protein in my bullet proof coffee. 
  4. I have 20-25 grams of protein after the big lift sessions. 
  5. I use the book Ready to Run, find the tight spots and work, stretch or voodoo floss them out every night. 
I'm loving this routine. I feel healthier and stronger than when I go to the gym. I'm inspired to stay consistent because I watch my son Marco go into the garage at 8:30pm and listen to him work for 30 minutes. He does this 4 nights a week. He did a PT test Tuesday and executed 70 military push ups. 

If you are interested in the Kettle Bell routine I use or others visit this webite and the book Simple and Sinister totally confirmed what I was feeling. The kettle bell swing done correctly may be the best strength work I've ever done. I have one  l5lb (Turkish get ups are really hard) one 30lb and one 50lb. Those are not the small incremental changes you see in the gyms but that's because that's the protocol. If the weight you are using becomes too easy don't make it incrementally harder make it harder. 50lb swings are really hard right now. 

It's a good life....

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Crazy 16 Year Old Boys

Raising a 16 year old boy who is an only child is one of the hardest things I've ever done and at this point the hardest thing I think I'll ever do. Clearly I believe there will be other challenges in life but I'm not one to look out for the challenges.

Don't get me wrong, our son is a special one. In the neighborhood there are two fathers who want to trade sons with me. The cross country coach says he's easy to coach, and a great team player. His teachers love him.

We decided long ago that we wanted him to release his negative tension at home and not outside of home. Rarely do we ever tell him to stop. Like any 16 year old, he's crazy. His emotions explode at odd times and it's something to endure.

Like any 16 year old boy he's heavily influenced by things around him. We live in a community that is full of American Muscle cars, Tesla's, Maserati's and big duly trucks. It's car talk all the time. He loves watching Super Cross and my mornings are filled with the sounds to Tool, Rage Against the Machine and Green Day.

After one of his recent outburst of profanity and emotion I waited until he calmed down. I sat him down and asked him what he thinks defines a man. He had a good answer that was close to what I told him. I launched in by saying it's not about the car you drive, how much money you have in the bank, how much weight you can lift or how loud you can yell. I told him what the US Marines tell their young recruits. What makes a man is your character.

  1. Do what you say your going to do
  2. Always do your best
  3. Treat others with respect
I had an Irish mentor years ago. He put it much more succinctly. His grandfather and father were painters and they taught him to be a painter. They asked him each day after work "Can You Put Your Name To It?"

The next morning after the crazy outburst our son came down stairs after his morning shower. He was listening to Country Music. He had his usual skip in his step. He was ready to address the day with good positive humble energy.

I run with a couple guys who are fathers of young boys. As with any age they are dealing with their challenges. I think they both kringe a bit when I tell them my stories.

For a long time I tried to diagnose all of this and at times tried to insert myself into the fray. I've learned to sit back and watch it all happen. Picking the moments where I can insert wisdom that will stick. I know it sticks because his coach, teachers and the other fathers tell me it does.

It's a good life...

Monday, January 19, 2015

Your Best

In the opening in one of the most moving speeches ever, Jim Valvano says if you do these three things every day you are leading a good life....

  1. Laugh
  2. Think
  3. Cry

Laughter on our family is mostly easy to come by. Our Labrador Niki is of great entertainment. We watch John Stewart nightly and try to find the funny things in even the toughest situations.

The best thinking I have is in meditation. It's the calming factor for me and when I'm calm things are great. So 10 minutes minimum is my daily thinking routine. I like to do my meditation outside in the back yard or at the beach. There is also a great deal of thinking when I'm out running. Unless of course my heart rate is elevated. 

Finding tears is not hard for me. I welcome them. Watch the video above and you will be moved to tears. Listen to the I have a Dream speech. I am moved to tears watching Marco perform during a race. I am moved to tears when I think about my Dad or talk about my wife Mary. Whatever it is I fully agree with this notion. 

In his last public speech Jim Valvano a prolific motivator gave us his best. It's something to shoot for every day. Give the people you love your best. I think the three things above are a great way to get there. 

It's a good life....

Friday, January 16, 2015

Five for Friday: The Run Test

Wednesday was Run Test day. Here are 5 things I learned while testing my current run fitness.

  1. It's more fun to have a rabbit with you. I did this test alone on the same course I did last time with my rabbit Andrew.
  2. I've been running too easy when I'm supposed to be going hard. My hard has been at a HR of 155 when it should be 166 or higher according to my test. I thought as I got older that those upper limit heart rates would come down but they haven't.
  3. Shoe choice is important. In my run test in late November I wore the heavily cushioned Saucony Triumph 12 and in this most recent test I wore the bedroom slipper New Balance Zante. Crazy as it is my feet felt better in the Triumph running "fast".
  4. Running Form - It's really important. I concentrated heavily on my form during this test. I would not do that in a race but for this I felt getting that slight forward lean and high cadence was important. It felt really good doing this.
  5. I will not test at 8am again. My run finishes going north on the coast highway. The southbound traffic is heavy at this time of the day. It felt like I was running into a stiff wind. This is not an excuse for my slower time it's just the reality. I've rather have a quiet place to run in windy conditions. The coast highway is a great place to run but not at 8am on a weekday.
  6. I'm adding a 6th because it's quite important. I get up every morning and measure my reading (I do this while I read) heart rate and heart rate variability on the Sweet Beat Ap. My HRV on this morning was 12 beats lower than the day before which is roughly my average throughout all my testing. What this told me was to take the day off I was not rested/recovered. What I did instead was execute the test. 

As for the test itself, I'm encouraged. I was 20 seconds slower and I attribute that to my rabbit and my HRV. I know with a rabbit or in the middle of a race with some rest I'll be much faster. I also need to invest in better tools. For years I was the guy everyone came too for direction and comments on technology. I was really tight with Timex, Polar, Garmin, Nike and adidas. I never had to pay for anything which was a perk. During this test I held my phone. The system is one of the best I've used but holding my phone in my hand is crazy and I don't want to run with it on my arm. I need to find that watch Polar, Timex or Garmin that will give me what I want. Time/Pace/HR all on the same screen. I know it's out there but instead of them coming to me I need to go find it. It's much harder to trust these things when you have to pay for them.

It's a good life...

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Bike Test #1 2015

It's fitness testing week. On Monday I did the bike test.

The Test
40 Minutes - Time Trial Effort
Fiesta Island

Time since last test 7 weeks.

Time: 40:00
Distance: 15.58 Miles vs. 15.33 last time.

Conditions as you can see were sketchy. With lots of rain the day before Fiesta Island was a mess. There was some standing water and as you can see by the bike there was some mud too. I'm pleased with the results. I was in much more control Monday than the last test. The laps were much more consistent this time. I felt strong the entire way. I actually can't wait to do it again in 6-7 weeks.

It's a good life....

Monday, January 12, 2015

Long Run Pacing

The picture above is from the McMillan Pace Calculator and is set for a runner running 4:30 for the mile. I fully understand that most people reading this can't run 4:30. The reason for the time is this topic came up in conversation with The Runner of the family. He's capable right now of throwing down quite close to 4:30.

It's rare to see a runner these days wearing a simple watch. Most are wearing some form of pace monitor. The problem with the monitors is you become slave to the pace and forget the end goal. Pace really doesn't matter until it matters. But because everyone has these things on, it really matters.

Meeting up for the Sunday run I heard the conversation between The Runner and his senior running partner. The pace would be 6:45/mile for 45 minutes. Looking at our calculator above this pace is somewhere in the middle of the long or easy run pace. I told the boys they should be stretching their run out to 90 minutes and the senior quickly shot back "I'm not ready to run 90 minutes". I said under my breath, you are not ready to run 6:45.

Jack Daniels says your #1 run to start the week is your long run. That's not too much different all the best coaches in running. Sure they will talk often of Tempo, Fartlek and track work but that's with the assumption that #1 is taken care of. The reason for the long run is to build endurance and strength. With those two you can do quality Tempo work and faster. Without it, you can't.

Which brings me back to the pace/run the boys did. It makes no sense to me. I know inside knowledge that the senior is listening to the pacing of the #1 runner in the county. Which is fine as long as you do the work around the pace. With the long run being the most important.

If you look at the paces above you will notice a range. The range is based on your current fitness. If you are The Runner entering track season after a 3 week break than your paces should be to the right of center. I gave The Runner this example.

The 90 minute long run. Run 90 minutes at 7:00 - 7:05 pace. If you look above that's faster than the far right number but that's because it's where the fitness is. Run the 90 minutes. If it feels easy or when it begins to feel easy increase the pace for the next week. Don't change the 90 minutes. Do this regularly and you will build strength and stamina. Eventually you will get to your 6:45 pace or probably much faster. Your goal should be 5-6 90 minute runs between now and the middle of the track season.

So if you are starting back to some serious running after the New Year, don't jump into pacing you ran last October. Get back into the long run and keep in in a comfortable range until the exact same run becomes easy then either increase the pace for the exact same run or increase the distance and the current pace. Because our runners are high school runners, 90 minutes is the max they need to run.

It's a good life....

Friday, January 9, 2015

Five for Friday: 2015 the First 90 Days

I'm fairly sure that this was the first Cross Country Race for our son Marco. Today he's set his sites on the California State Meet in November 2015. Before we know it, he will be on his way to bigger and better things post High School. My first 90 days of 2015 are focused on that day when he walks out of the house or we drop him off after he graduates.

  1. Marco was born 9 weeks early. 99.9% of him was perfect. We've known over the years that he has an issue with his eyes tracking together. He's been through a couple rounds of vision therapy and he's at it again. My focus is to work with him for 10 minutes a day for the next 90 days. I told him this morning that if he did that his last 3 semesters of High School would be way different. School would open up to him rather than it being a daily fight. 
  2. Men - Marco like any boy needs men in his life. He needs his father but he needs other men who can mentor and show him how to become a man. Over the next 90 days it's my hope to find another mentor for him. We think we have a lead right now one one. 
  3. Risk - Boys need risk in their lives. They need to do scary things. We are going to do risky things over the next 90 days. Still trying to figure those things out. If you have anything you did as a kid that scared the heck out of you, let me know. 
  4. Income - I have had income since August. That's not exactly true, our investments are always (virtually) making money. But I have no regular flow of income. Over the next 90 days that's going to change. Either my businesses will take off or I'll accept one of the offers I have. 
  5. Strength - Physical and Emotional it's been my weakness and it will not be any longer. I will be strong. 
It's a good life....

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Running Pace

I was talking with my friend Greg the other day about Swimmers. He is amazed at how much swim training swimmers do for what amounts to fairly short events. He wonders why? I told him we runners would do the same thing if we could but because running hurts so much we can't.

On the same day I was talking to Marco about his running. He has a running partner who lives by his Garmin and wants to up the pace of their easy runs because he heard of another high school runner doing that. I told  Marco "That's crazy talk, the worst thing you can do is follow another's training".

I also told him "This is preseason, the only reason you need to know your pace is to slow yourself down, your goal is to build strength and stamina through frequency and length not pace. The only time pace matters is on the track"

Then I went out and practiced what I preached. Poor recovery is either from poor rest, poor nutrition or going too hard too often. As I've said I've struggled with recovery. I preach to Marco and other runners, go slow and easy when your workout is meant to be slow and easy. Go hard when it's meant to be hard. Don't mix them up. (Another thing Swimmers do is go hard day after day, because they can). I thought good and hard about my own workouts and realized I was mixing it up. So Tuesday I wore my heart monitor and stuck to it. My max allowable Heart Rate was 135 which is the top of my Aerobic Capacity or MAF. My run was painfully slow.

I'm confident that when I wake up on the day of my hard running, I won't be tired and I will be ready to lay some hard running down.

It's a good life....

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Next 50

I heard a quote last night: "Your first 50 years are to build your life, your next 50 years are to live your life"

I've been thinking a great deal about being 50. I've found that losing a brother not much older than me will do that to you.

I read Fast After 50 by Joel Friel.

My take away notes for myself
  1. The work I've been doing the last 6 weeks has been the right work. A mixture of High Intensity, Some Moderate Intensity and some Aerobic Capacity (MAF) work.
  2. Where I have failed because I just haven't made it a top priority is in Strength Work. I'm 3 weeks into a periodized programmed weight routine. I'm confident this is a difference maker.
  3. Rest - The older the more rest you need. I find that at 50 I need a heck of lot more rest than I did at 30.
  4. Recovery - Rest is a big part of that but recovery from hard work is harder than it used to be. I'm working out every detail and tracking it daily. The worst thing to do is go hard when you are not recovered.
  5. Diet - I eat well but I'm aware that the make of my food will need to change. Now that I'm not traveling the world as much I should be able to stay consistent with whatever changes I make.
The question is why spend so much time on being Fast. I think I'm wired this way. I'm competitively wired and I figure that if I can learn to be fast than I'll be doing all the right things to remain healthy and to LIVE the next 50 years.

It's a good life....

Friday, January 2, 2015

Five for Friday: Where to Find Dave

Happy New Year!

It's 2015. Finally I'm working in real time and not future time. I started working in 2015 in October of 2013. Today though my focus is the next 90 days not the next 18 months and that feels really good. With that bit of information I thought I'd share where you can catch up with me for at least the next 90 days.

  1. Right Here - This will become a bit more personal about my life etc.
  2. Shoe Ranger - Still in Beta form this will be up and running in the next two weeks. Here you will be able to read shoe reviews, read up on shoe news and learn in the Shoe Clinic. You'll also be able to use a new tool with new secret sauce.
  3. Retail Brand Sync - Do you have a store or a brand you need help with? I'm using my expertise to help brands and retailers reach their dreams. I often ask both the same question "What do you want to be" and I either get a brand marketing statement or an "I don't know". Every once in awhile I get a real answer and it's here where I come into play. My expertise is taking that real answer and helping you make it a reality. Most of the information on the website will be free and frequent.
  4. Facebook - Dave Jewell
  5. Twitter - @superdavejewell
It's a good life......