Friday, December 16, 2016

The Last Post

This will be my last post on this blog. At times I've really enjoyed this and at times I've felt it was a chore. That being said I really appreciate everyone who have kept up with this blog for so long.

This however is not the last of my story telling. That will continue and in fact it will continue in two different places.

The Business of Running Shoes - this is my new business or better yet how I make a living. I was talking to a long time friend in the business two weeks ago and he said this "You've been doing this all your life, now you get paid for it".

Content Like this Blog and More -

- More Shoe reviews.
- Better organization
- and Shoe Ranger already has a much larger following.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to hearing from you.

It's a good life.....


Monday, November 21, 2016

Eco Catalina Marathon

Saturday I ran my marathon. Going into the race I knew two things:

  1. I hadn't covered anything close to the distance. My longest run this year before Saturday was 13.5 miles. I ran frequently but never very far. 
  2. I had done lots of running on trails but nothing was overly technical. 
 Friday I took the train to San Juan Capistrano. It was a beautiful day so I decided to walk to Dana Point.
 From Dana Point it's a 90 minute ferry ride to Catalina Island. The water was flat which made for a smooth ride.
Race morning was stunning. The sun came up to clear sky's and cool temperatures. Overall it was a perfect day to run a marathon. 

Going into the marathon I know those two things would come to get me. My plan going in was to take off easily and play the race by how I felt. The race itself is really hard. There is no other way to explain it. That's why I wanted to do it. 

Start - I set my target HR rate to my MAF zone and kept it there. The first 3.5 miles is up hill from roughly sea level to 1500 feet. To say I was running slow was an understatement. I went through the first mile in roughly 150th place. I stayed at that effort through the hill and by the top I was in the top 50 or better. From that point the course begins to roll with lots of single track and lots of steep climbs and descents. I kept my HR in check and felt great. At mile 13 it felt easy. 
I eased the effort up at this point not to race pace but more to tempo. If felt good to run with my form. I knew every step I took was further than I had gone all year. I kept the effort going and really started going through the field of runners in front of me. The effort still felt "easy". At mile 19 there is a section called the crush. It's a tight rolling single track and it bit hard. For some reason I started to feel the race here. At Mile 20 there is a nasty hill that simply goes straight up. You can see the top from the bottom and not a single person is running. I power hiked this hill and felt good going up. 
At the top of the hill there was an aid station where someone offered my Ibuprophen. I passed, filled my bottle and carried on. By Mile 23 I was wishing I hadn't past. Here's where course knowledge and techincal running would pay off. 
I've done the Catalina Marathon. At 23 miles you hit the twisting turning road (basically the way we came up through the first three miles). At mile 23 of this marathon the course goes along the mountain top. Avalon, the finish looks to be a half mile straight down and we are running away from it. At roughly mile 24 we went up over a ridge and dropped straight down a single track. It was steep, rutted and rocky. My legs were shattered at this point and it was everything I could do to get down. People were passing me right and left. By the time we hit the road with one mile to go I was mad. I opened up the pace to a full effort and crossed the line. 

The pain of that marathon will be with me for a time. I did the race because it fell on November 19th and this would have been my brother's 57th birthday. I knew any pain the marathon was causing me was nothing to the pain of knowing you would die from ALS. 

It's a good life.....

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Ironman Kona 2016 Report

Last weekend was the Ironman World Championships in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. I was there to enjoy the energy of the event as well as do the running shoe count on race day.

For the stats on the shoe count go here:

Some things you can learn from watching 2200 pairs of feet going by:
 For the most part, people make good footwear decisions. Some don't.

  1. Don't buy the Kona inspired shoes days before the race and use them on race day. The only reason you would is because you've worn the shoe before. So many people made the emotional decision to wear new Kona shoes and it shows up on Saturday because they aren't functionally working for the athlete. That's not a good thing. 
  2. So many athletes were in old shoes. I saw shoes as old as 10 years. That doesn't ever make sense. I see this daily where runners come to me complaining of joint pain where their shoes are 2 years old. I simply put them in new shoes and they come back and say the pain is gone. Never do a race in an old shoe. You are asking for trouble. 
  3. If you have to put sponges in the heel of your shoe to protect against blisters, you should know this before the race. Everything regarding the conditions can be tested. 
  4. If I can put my fist or even my finger between your heel and the heel of the shoe you are going to have problems on race day. I saw many people having heel slip problems. Maybe a sponge would be better. 
  5. Water in your shoes. There may be nothing worse than water that doesn't drain. Most shoes drain the water naturally. Some don't and you can hear them sloshing down the road. Test it. Go running and dump water on your head. Water adds to the weight of your shoes by the way. 
  6. I've said over and over again 50% of the function of your shoe comes from the midsole and 50% comes from the upper. If your foot is swimming in an upper that doesn't fit you have lost 50% of the function and it shows dramatically. Aside from that you will get blisters. 
  7. Ok, old shoes, shoes that don't fit the one that really gets me is shoes with mud caked on them. Not one pair buy many. Come on people, caked on mud adds to the weight you are picking up. It's really easy to clean the mud off. 
Kind of late in the day when the field was kind of thinned out, a motor cycle with a camera on the back was rolling down the road. You could see it for 1/4 mile and you knew this was an important athlete. I'm sure if you watch the Ironman coverage on NBC you'll see the woman as one of the focus stories of the race. She's the first observant Muslim woman to race in the Ironman World Championships. It was truly inspiring to watch her run in that heat fully covered. 

The sad thing or more the sickening thing was what I heard as she ran by. My country is a divided country. The Isolationists have a voice and it was in full force at Mile 5 of the Ironman Marathon. A guy standing on his porch by himself says in a loud deep voice "I hope she's not carrying explosives in all those bottles" I am not kidding you. I wanted to punch him. He then repeated it to his neighbor who was walking his dog roughly 30 minutes later. 

On a lighter note I ran into the woman who sent the tweet, Paula Newby-Fraser. She of the 8 Ironman Kona titles. Her first words to me "Jeweller, I heard about you not making it in the swim at SuperFrog. That's a black mark on you in San Diego" Never a break from Paula. It's why we love her. 

It's a good life....

Monday, October 3, 2016

Boot Camp Challenge

A few weeks back my wife Mary asked me if I wanted to do the Boot Camp Challenge ant the Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) in San Diego. It's where our son started Boot Camp and where we will see him graduate in a little over a month. I said ok. I did so to support her more than anything.
We drove to the race separately because I had to leave quickly to go to work. The security at this base is high. They have a section where every car is searched and in this case they were searching 5 at a time. Mary and I were in the same 5 car section. You have to get out of your car and stand aside while they do the search. Mary came to me crying. The emotions of being on base were getting the best of her. It's understandable since it's through these gates that your son went and when we see him next he'll officially be a Marine instead of a Marine Recruit. We got there quite early and had time to take some pictures.
Then we started a little warm up. I was vacillating from running the event alongside Mary or going up and racing it. Much of that had to do with finding her friends. If we found her friends then she would have someone to do it with. If not then I was prepared to do it with her. They staged the event into multiple waves with Elites going first then individual men, individual women and then teams. I was signed up in individual men. The Elites went off and we still hadn't found her friends. With about 60 seconds to go before the individual men start we found her friends. They all told me to leave. 

I made my way to my start group and made it about half way to the front. The guy next to me asks if this is my first time. He said "just put one foot in front of the other and you'll be fine". The horn went off and we were moving. Like any running start unless you are at the front it's a slow start. I started at a slow trot and let the people in front thin out a bit. Once I saw a gap I got into race mode. By the first section of obstacles at 1.5 miles I had made it close to the front of my group. The obsticals are simply a variation of going through the actual MCRD O course. Of course it's made easier for civilians. Like the Marines we had Drill Instructors at each obstical yelling at us. Most of the yelling came down to these words SPRINT, YOU ARE NOT GOING HARD ENOUGH, I NEED TO HEAR YES SIR. I got the hang of it quickly and actually tried to push hard through the obsticals. With the first section done there was a short reprieve before the second set. The entire O course started with 20 Marine push-ups and finished with 10 Marine push-ups. By the time I hit the 10 I was gassed. After that it was 1 mile to the finish. I got up and went as hard as possible. It felt like I was going hard but I sure wasn't going fast. With the finish line in sight I tried to sprint. It was a good effort. I hit the line in 23:43 and was slightly impressed. I knew the winner from last year did 20:50 so I was happy with my effort. I ended up 14th overall and 1st old guy. The placing didn't really matter to me what mattered to me was the fun. It was a total blast to go that hard. Other than the first 1.5 miles my HR and breathing rate were at max. Total Fun! 

Two days later and my shoulders are still worked from all of the obsticals. I can't wait to do it again. 

Mary had a blast too. She was all smiles at the finish. We had a great time. 

It's a good life....

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

And Here We Go

Got a great response from Jocko Wilink after I thanked him for a great message on the Tim Ferriss Podcast.

Also on the social media side Preston Smiles came through again with not orginal but a very true statement.

Lastly I had this on my mind as soon as I heard the date. I've run 4 stand alone marathons in my life. 3 on Catalina Island and one time at the Berlin Marathon. I just signed up for my 5th open marathon and the 4th time on Catalina Island. The date of the Cataling Eco Marathon is November 19th. As soon as I heard the race date I knew I had to do it. It's my brother's birthday and no better way for me to celebrate his day then to run a marathon. He's the one who introduced me to running. He passed away two years ago from ALS.
I ran 2 hours this morning on a hot and hilly course. My old roommate and training partner Tim Sheeper did the race last year and won our age group. He ran 4:15. He's no slouch of an athlete. 2 years ago he went 9:45 in Kona and last weekend he went 4:31 in the Santa Cruz 70.3. I've got my goal and my work cut out for me.

It's a good life....

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Classic Shoes and Dolphin

We often look at the big brands for their sports heritage. Nike Running and adidas futol come to mind. At adidas the business is broken into three big categories and then a bunch of smaller ones. The three big are Soccer, Running and Originals. Nike is the same way with Running, Basketball and their classics. The sneaker (Orginals and Classics)business is big business where limited edition versions of the old classic shoes come out. The other day Nike sent a mistake shipment of Pegaus 92.

I so much wanted to keep a pair for myself. But just what I need is another pair of shoes.

This morning on my ride I finished coming south on the Coast Highway. In between the famous Swami's surf spot and the not so famous Pipe's there was a school of Dolphin feeding and playing in the surf. It's one of the great benefits of living close to the ocean. Sometimes getting paid in sun is totally worth it. Today was one of those days. I went back to find them but they were gone. The 30 minutes sitting on the rocks was worth it too.

It's a good life....

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Ironman 70.3 SuperFrog

From my post yesterday, the water cleared up enough to swim. I guess that's a good thing. The SuperFrog race is a tough race. It's a beach swim, flat ride on a rough road and then a run that includes lot's of running on the sand (not the hard pack). I prepared as best I could with the limited time I had. It's been 6 weeks since our son went to boot camp and all efforts prior to that were on his transition. Then I got focused on a triathlon. All summer I've been in the ocean swimming and simply playing in the waves. I love the water and I love rough water.

Today we were met with consistently good surf (for surfers). The swim takes place on the north side of the pier. There was a really strong current pushing to the north. They set the turn bouy about 25 feet from the pier. The only option was to hug the pier on the way to that bouy. The current was pushing us away from the pier so hugging the pier was the only option. The surf was breaking underneath the pier and peeling north. The swim is two loops.
The gun went off and everyone took their time entering the surf. I chose a line and headed in. I believe I caught a break and got the easier set of surf. The waves were steep but they were manageable. I had one close call where I swam over a wave just as it curled to break. I made it through and had open ocean. Once through the waves the water was deep enough and the current was weaker. Making the turn was easy and getting to the next bouy to turn towards the beach was also easy. The swim into the beach was directly into the sun so spotting anything on the beach was nearly impossible. Once through the surf the current picked up again and by the time I got on sand I was 50 yards north of the exit point. No problem I got out there and ran down the beach. To start the second lap. This is where it got interesting Either I got tired or the surf set was larger. I got out into the surf and the first wave came. I dove down but not far enough because the back side of the wave took me for a ride. I fought through it to make the second wave. I got through that one fine. Immediately the largest wave of the set came through and threw a swimmer on top of me. I was pinned and out of breath. I stayed calm but it seemed like a long time and by the time I got to the surface the next wave was there and it swept me away. I ended up 50 yards or more from the pier completely winded and broken. I walked up the beach and turned in my chip.

I wasn't the only one, there were many but that's not me trying to ease any pain. There is no pain. Years ago I would have been crushed by this, totally mad at myself and probably used excuses.  The swimmer landing on my head is part of doing the sport. You have to prepare for contingencies and I should have prepared better. Especially as I saw the wave and the swimmer direct in my line. I should have dove down to the sand and hugged the bottom.

I spent the day working in the yard and doing odd jobs around the house and forgot about my morning.

It's a good life....

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Determination and Dumbass

In a recent Tim Ferriss podcast Tim let Jocko Willink answe questions from listeners. Jocko is a former Navy Seal with extensive combat experience. He talks real when the questions come to how he did what he did. He also regularly talks about how much he respects the work of the Marines. I can't help to think of my son every time Jocko talks. You can listen to the podcast and his words of wisdom here:

I'm doing my first 70.3 length triathlon tomorrow. It's the SuperFrog and I entered because proceeds go the the US Military and I'm partial to that these days. The race usually starts on the Navy Base on Coronado but because of construction they moved the start to Imperial Beach (IB). IB sits and the very Southern end of San Diego County. Just south is the mouth of the Tijuana River. When it rains the flow from the river increases and usually pushes the water north closing down the beaches for 15 miles. It rained heavy this week and for days the beach at IB has been closed due to sewage. Postings warn swimmers. Today the beach was closed yet the Triathletes were in the water trying to get used to the surf. I asked a couple of athletes if the beach closure had been lifted. They said "What beach closure". I pointed to the signs. They pointed to the suffers. I simply said using surfers as a judge is not a good idea. They suff in sludge if the waves are good. Then one woman went off on me about how much she knows about the beach closures and that the water was safe. I simply said "I just asked a question, It's your choice to risk your health, you don't need to defend it" Is a triathlon really worth a bacterial infection from sewage in the water? This is not the Olympics folks.

It's a good life....

Friday, September 23, 2016

Wake Up America

We have a presidential candidate who wants to:

1. Stop and Frisk
2. Racially Profile like Israel

Will Amercia be better off because of those two things?

The great thing is we get to vote on it.

It's a good life....

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Rock Stars, Motivation and Shoes

Preston Smiles brings it every day. This one is worth keeping.

Yesterday while sitting in a local coffee shop "Better Buzz", Steven Tyler walked by. He and the boys were recently headlining Kaboo in Del Mar and I guess he stayed around for a bit. Only in Encintitas, does a guy like that walk by without much fan fare.  I can tell you what size shoe and sock John Lynch wears. Your may hear him talking on Sunday's during Fox NFL games and you may remember he game. He was known for his all out smash mouth football. Again he walks around town with nobody bothering him.

I love what Nike is doing with their running shoes. This is the new Zoom Structure 20. They revolutionized the bottom unit making it smooth and nimble. They continue with engineered uppers that don't have a single supportive overlay meaning they are free to fit your foot. They do all of this keeping the retail price consistent at $120. By the time the rest of the industry introduces their "like" functioning shoes this one will be the best value and unless they really upped their game this one will be the best feeling of the bunch too.

It's a good life.....

Friday, August 12, 2016

Proud Father of a US Marine Recruit

On August 8, 2015 our son Marco entered the US Marines boot camp. We've known this is what he wanted to do since he was 5 years old. He never wavered and the day after his 17th birthday we signed the papers allowing him to enter the Marines on a delayed entry. He's 5 days into his experience and we are confident he is loving his new life and excelling at it as well.

It's a good life....

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The 18 Month Test

Over the years I've found that it takes 18 months to build something. You can't change a body in a short time and most coaches will tell you it takes 18 months. Most start ups will tell you the first 18 months are the most critical. 18 months ago I took on two separate tasks. One personal and one professional.

The personal one has been a great success. I feel better today than ever before. I have a great deal many people to thank. My wife for kicking me in the ass to figure it out, my friend Tawnee from Endurance Planet for connecting me to Nourish Balance Thrive and of course the folks at NBT for sorting out my issues. As long as I stay on top of it I should continue to feel great for years to come.

The professional part of my life was not a success but I've learned so much in doing it that I can't feel bad. I started Shoe Ranger with a couple friends. One had helped me build the Shoe Dog at RRS and the other has been a friend and running partner for a long time. We wanted the Shoe Ranger widget to help runners find their next favorite shoe. The widget actually works quite well. But to be honest there was a flaw in the thinking. If you ask a running if they get upset when their favorite shoe is changed by the shoe companies they will tell you yes. But sit back and watch. The majority don't care any more. They move on. They've come to expect change in their shoe and they really understand that every brand is making the same thing. There are some exceptions and it's there where I love to live.

So it's with this news that in the next month or so Shoe Ranger will go off line for good. Simply put it cost to much to maintain.  Sad but true. But as I said I learned a great deal and some of it will be brought to this blog.

  1.  I learned that runners really want help with their functional running gait. The service is still available and I highly suggest you contact me before it's too late. The biggest thing I see are lifestyle choices that are affecting your running. Without a video and without all of my questions you'll continue to be frustrated by your lack of improvement or worse yet your constant pain. You can leave a comment here or send me a private message on Facebook to get started. 
  2. I learned that Youtube is the better place for shoe reviews. People like to hear what you have to say so those will continue. Not nearly as often but hopefully I can build on the process and the quality of the videos. I will concentrate heavily on the exceptions in the market. The shoes I believe really stand out against the sameness in the market. 
  3. I learned HTML but I'm not sure where that will help me in the future. 
  4. I learned some Sequal coding and although it was fun to learn maybe it will help me. 
  5. I learned it's really hard to maintain a business partnership from 800 miles away. Both of the other partners moved to SFO and it was really hard to get things done once that happened. 
I'm sad because I failed but long ago I wrote about how failure leads to success and I plan to make this true. I'm 12 months into a 2 more professional projects that I'm learning immensely about. They are fun, frustrating and super challenging. 6 more months will tell a great deal. 

If you've been toiling away at a special project for 18 months or more and it's not giving you any satisfaction it may be good time for a change. 

It's a good life....

Monday, April 11, 2016

20 Miles on the Legs

Last week we took a break from normal beating training and went hiking. The goal was two things:

  1. Father/Son time - He was on spring break and we needed time together. Only 4 months and a few days until boot camp. 
  2. He needed to put miles in his legs in combat boots to break his feet in. 
The hike was 20 miles round trip to the top of Mt San Jacinto (slightly over 10,000 feet) and back. The trees on the bottom of the climb were beautiful. 

We found snow early in the climb and Marco could not resist. 

This is one of the more beautiful hikes in Southern California. Views of the Temecula Vallley and Riverside are spectacular! 

We found lots of snow. In fact most of the top 3.5 miles up and 3.5 miles down was on snow. It wasn't too bad going up. The occasional post hole was more fun than anything. 

Going down through the snow was a different story. Often we were one slip from sliding 100 feet through rocks and trees. Post holes in the later afternoon soft snow became an annoyance. It seemed to take a great deal more time to get through the snow going down. 

Distance: 20 miles
Time: 10 hours
Elevation Change: 5,000 feet
Reward: The great thing about Southern California is there is almost always an In and Out Burger on the way home. 

We broke his feet in with 3 blisters. My legs felt like I ran 20 miles. 

It's a good life...

Monday, March 28, 2016

Masters Swimming

It's Monday and it's my favorite day of the week. I get a ton of work done early then I head to masters swimming at noon for whatever Hux (Swim coach) has in store. Today it was a tasty morsel of 4,100 yards in a set that got harder the longer you were in the pool. I love masters when Hux is on deck. The thing about masters is everyone comes to the pool with a different mindset. Some come to work, some come to cruise while others come for the pure social connection. My mindset is always the same, I'm there to work. I swim 3 days a week and I try to make each one count. As I was preparing to enter the water a guy slid into the lane and said something to the fact "I hope this is the easy lane, I really want to go easy today". I kind of laughed and said "it's the lane that it is". You see masters is always broken up into time. Each lane correlates to a given send off time based on 100 yards. On Monday I lead the lane and right now I can lead the 1:35 lane. So I was entering the 1:35 lane and he knew full well that it was the 1:35 lane. If swimming on 1:35 is easy for you then this is the easy lane. We started the workout and all was relatively calm. The main set started with a 500 yard swim of 100 moderate, 200 easy and 200 fast. Then it was a crazy set that had 100 moderate on base followed by ascending distances (fast) on base plus 10 seconds. This is not a hard workout. It's a quality work out. You get to go hard knowing there is lot's of rest at the end. So I start on the first 100 moderate. I'll admit that it takes me time to get into a groove and I realized at the 50 I was going slightly fast. I hit the wall and had just over 10 seconds rest before a fast 50. Then it was another 100 moderate followed by a fast 100. By the end of the second 100 moderate I was swimming alone. The guy moved to the faster lane so he could swim easier. The more swimmers in the lane the easier the swimming (bigger the draft) and since he was leaving on feet (Mine or the same in the next lane) instead of after 5 seconds it was way easier. I, realizing I swam the first 100 too fast corrected and for the rest of the day hit every 100 at 1:30 giving me 5 seconds rest. There was a point where I had finished a fast 150 and had lots of time to rest. (Base plus 10) It was close to 25 seconds of  rest (I was told to swim fast). The guy is on the pool deck complaining to a girl who was told to swim with me that I take the moderate too fast and essentially good luck swimming with me.

Dude, I was leading the lane. You were not. You pick the lane you are going to swim in, self seed your position in the lane and then it's up to you to pace your swim. I chose to lead because I wanted to work hard. You didn't have to swim my workout you only had to swim to the interval given. That's the basics of masters swimming. The girl, she jumped in, got in step with the workout and said at the end "That was great".

It's a good life...

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Interrupt a Life

My wife Mary has spent a good part of her life as a teacher becoming that interruption young men have needed to keep them from a life of crime. She shows them their life means something. She's an amazing woman.

It's a good life...

Monday, March 21, 2016

Barefoot Drills and Strides

It was kind of strange to hear my name called out on the Endurance Planet ATC Podcast. The question was from a woman who wants to get down to barefoot running. Tawnee mentioned my process of going out once a week doing drills and strides barefoot as a way to get used to barefoot running. I've been doing a great deal of research on runners recently. Asking them their process. How many runs a week, what kind of runs each week, how does running feel and what's hurting. In the running store most people are in a hurry and there's no time to do a full analysis but I always watch runners with a full analysis in mind. What I see and hear is a trend that I'm trying to undo.

Ask any runner who started the activity as a sport in school either on the track or in cross country and you'll here the same thing. Every workout or race started with a warm up, drills and strides and then the workout or race. Depending on the type of athlete especially track athlete the drills may be different and the amount and effort of the strides would be different but essentially that was the process.

Now ask any adult runner who didn't start in high school and most of them have no idea was running drills are. Then watch the runners like I do and you'll see form flaws that could be fixed by a regular dose of drills and strides. The biggest form flaws are lifestyle. People spend so much time sitting at the computer or with a phone in hand and the flaws look like they are still sitting at the computer.

Go to youtube and search running form drills.

Now the process is this:
1. Do the drills with perfect form - Relaxed shoulders, neutral head (absoloutely critical) that is looking out not down.
2. Speed of the drill is controlled by form. As soon as you look down or hunch your shoulders slow down. Form trumps speed.
3. Finish each drill set with a set of strides (4-10 strides) - 20 seconds in perfect form. I was taught to picture athletes. For the first half (2-3-4- or 5) of the stride set run like Edwin Moses for the second set run like Carl Lewis, Michael Johnson or Pick your sprinter. Recover fully which should be 30 seconds to a minute. You are not sprinting these you are using form to control. If form breaks slow down.

Now to the point of this. My goal for everyone is to get to as close to barefoot as possible in doing these drills. I've thought at length about this. What's more important, going barefoot or doing the strides? I think barefoot is more important. I see so many older people with foot problems I rank taking care of your feet above all else and the best way you can take care of your feet (in my opinion) is spend time barefoot on a soft surface. Everyone has a patch of grass close by. If you don't do drills and don't do strides at least go to that grass surface, take off your shoes and walk around. Once you are comfortable walking around, jog around. Once your comfortable jogging around start incorporating drills. Once you can do all the basic drills (high knees, butt kicks, AB skips, Carioka) then add strides slowly. Start with 4. when that becomes comfortable do 6. Get to 10. Put this process at the start or end of a run and you'll begin to undo all those lifestyle things than screw with your running form.

Barefoot Ted says barefoot running is a mindset. I fully agree with that idea. Once your mind clicks and you look forward to your once a week session in the grass you will begin to feel what natural running form is.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

All Twisted Up

For the last week or so I've felt stiff and twisted. No workout seemed great or bad but every one felt odd. I realized at some point it was time to go see the chiropractor who has kept me straight for years. The first thing he says, "It's been since August since you last visited". I said "I feel that". He measured my hips and said I was off balance by 2 degrees. Put me on a scale and 2 degrees translates to just over 10lbs more weight being carried by my left side. He adjusted me and said "You are going to be dizzy". I was the rest of the day. Nothing felt good. Not sitting, not standing and certainly not talking.

I woke up feeling totally new. I often wonder how people go around feeling like that their entire life. I'm so grateful for my friend CM who introduced me to Dr. Kenny who saved my running years ago. He's been fixing me ever since.

It's a good life...

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Sunday Long Run Then Rest

Sunday I went out for a run. Because of some mid morning commitments I ran early. I woke up at 5 and was running at 6am. We were out of coffee so I ran on a half a banana and water. 70 minutes into the run I felt like I was barely moving. I had a bottle with an electrolyte mix in it (no calories) and I had one Hammer Gel packet. I downed the Hammer Gel put my head down and started running. It was a hilly local trail run and I wanted to work the down hills. I ran the uphills telling myself to stay engaged in the hill and I ran the down hill open free and as fast as the hill allowed. The miles started to click off and before I knew it I had covered the same distance 12 minutes faster. The back half of the run was purely float state. It was enjoyable and it set me up for an outstanding day.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

5 Things I am Thankful for On This Thursday January 14, 2016

  1. 23 and Me genetic results - I've always been on the healthier than most side of life. It doesn't matter that I'm healthier than you what matters is that my health continues it's strong trend. A few blood tests ago my Iron (ferritin) levels were high. They continued blood test after blood test to remain high. The only way to reduce them is to give blood which I've been doing. But the cause was yet unknown. It's ether genetic or it's lifestyle. 23 and Me confirmed that it's not genetic. That's good because I don't have to give blood every 30 days now. The future says continue to give blood and to monitor through blood tests. 
  2. My big sister Cyndi - We've not had an easy 6-7 years. First our father passed away abruptly on the 17th fairway one November morning. Not much longer after that we (my sister) had to put our mom into a total care facility for her Alzeimer's. Then just over a year ago our brother Bob passed away from ALS. Now the money has run out and my Mom needs to move to a county facility. My sister Cyndi is taking care of all of this over the weekend. Words can't express how thankful I am to have Cyndi as my sister. She raised me and she's still showing me how to live. 
  3. Dr Phil Maefetone  I was lucky to meet Phil years ago at a function we held at Road Runner Sports. Listening to his interviews on Endurance Planet remind me just what a visionary he has been in such a kind soul. The endurance community is lucky to have a guy like Phil. 
  4. David Bowie - What and influence in my life. Music is the one absolute constant in my life. It's on in the background or in the foreground most of my waking day. I love all music. There are certain threads in the music I listen to most and David Bowie is easily threaded through much of it. 
  5. The place where I live. I sometimes forget that that I live here. I get busy doing stuff and sometimes forget as Gordo says "This is far more than I need" I can't agree with you more Gordo. 
It's a good life....

Monday, January 11, 2016

I am Just an Imbecile

Why can't we not be sober?
Just want to start this over.
Why can't we sleep forever.
I just want to start this over.

I am just a worthless liar.
I am just an imbecile.
I will only complicate you.
Trust in me and fall as well.
I will find a center in you.
I will chew it up and leave

I don't remember the first time I heard this passage from the song Sober by Tool. I do remember how thought provoking it was to me. There have been times in my life were this passage truly spoke to me. There are times where I truly wanted to just be this and live with it. 

If not for my wife and my son I might actually live this out. The great thing about my life is that Marco wanted to be with me when he saw Tool for the first time. That's simply awesome. 
This past Saturday will stay with me for the rest of my life....

It's a good life....

Thursday, January 7, 2016

5 Things I'm Thankful for on This Thursday

  1.  El Nino - Strange as it may sound but the rain this year has been beautiful. For the last two years I've been running shirtless. In fact I can count on 1 hand the number of times I ran with a shirt on during the winter. No chance this winter. In fact most days I have a vest and gloves on. 
  2. It's January - I love the Holidays but retail doesn't sleep. I'm glad to be through and on to January where things will normalize. 
  3. Whole Foods - There is one close to one store and one on the way to the other store. My big freaking salads come from there. It's a worthy expense since it's about making the next 10 years stronger and healthier then the last 10 years. 
  4. Wahoo Kickr - When I made the purchase I hated the fact that I was spending that kind of money. Now I can't imagine life without it. Funny how that is. 
  5. Runners - It's so fun to see the light in their eyes when you solve a problem. Most runners I meet are in pain. When they feel that pain diminish the look on their face is priceless. 
It's a good life....

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


I was in a Starbucks yesterday talking to the two Baristas. They asked about my resolutions and told me there plan. The younger one said" I've made mine but they usually fall away after a month". The older one said "I didn't make any, I don't want to fail".

I work three different jobs. One of them is more passion than job because it doesn't pay to well just yet. I work these three jobs because of one big part of my life our Son Marco. I made a commitment 2 years ago to spend the most quality time with him I could and enjoy his last two years of high school with him.

With that I really only have one resolution with a huge amount of action items.

I want to run once a month with Marco until he ships out to the Marines.

The action items:

  1. Continue to hack by body. It's been used and abused and although it's not broken it's of the age that stuff happens. 
  2. Give Mary the first priority attention she deserves. Believe me when I say the relationship with Marco is great when the relationship with Mary is great. 
  3. As my friend at work said to me just the other day "Dave, I have one thing to say to you, Breath Mother Fucker" I've been following the Wim Hoff breathing method for a few months now. I've tried all kinds of mediation and I've found this to really work. I test stuff daily and the two metrics that get tested are HRV (Heart Rate Variability) and Stress level. When fully engaged in the Wim Hoff method my HRV goes really high and my stress goes away. In fact yesterday the stress was a complete flatiline that barely registered on the graph. On  a side test I test blood glucose each morning. Wim sasy the breathing changes your body chemistry. Three times after crappy food the night before my blood glucose has been super high upon waking. All three times I did the deep breathing and dropped by blood glucose by as much as 20%. I'd love to find out if this is a fact. 
It's a good life....