I just finally got up this morning after yesterdays Boulder Marathon. After the race I had to work a full shift and my legs are killing me. I made it across the line with a new course PR and had an absolute blast. My nutrition plan did not go according to plan, but my race support crew, also known as my family was amazing. My wife saw me three times then rode with me the last 5 miles or so. My mom and Mark came out too and my mom rode a big piece of the dreaded Oxford road which made a world of difference. I finished almost exactly 24 hours before writing this and my mind is already on to my next races.
This morning was spent reading more of Scott Jurek’s new book Eat & Run. Though I am not ready to commit to an ultra (though I really want to) this book has inspired me to push myself personally, professionally, and in running. Though his accomplishments in running are truly amazing, what I admire most in Scott Jurek is his commitment to mind body and spirit as a whole. What we do each and every day is what makes us as individuals. This includes what we eat, how we breath, what we think, and the commitment that we put into ourselves, Not sure where it will take me, but today starts a journey into an unknown part of life for me.
Got to go on my first run in ages and it was great. New shoes, same great Vibram KSOs but a cute new color. New awesome Nike GPS watch. And a killer jacket, too warm for it though. I love to run. Thanks for all the running gifts, my family is awesome.
It was strange though. Running through knee high snow with my shirt tied around my waist and sweating somethin fierce. Gotta love crazy Colorado weather. Best place to live for running though.
It is scary to think that in just over three months I will be running the LA marathon. I am so excited. Nothing like pushing yourself to an extreme with about 20,000 other crazy people. Yay!
The goal, 3:00 or as close as I can!!!
Hello Running People Out There,
I have to say that it seems like we lost track at some point in this world. I have never been, nor will I ever, understand why people live the way they do. All f these people spending their free time trying to loss weight, get healthy, and eating terrible food. When will the world really care about their health and their bodies. Remember this, YOU ONLY GET ONE BODY!!!! (Unless cyborgs are invented, but that may be a while).
This afternoon I went for a nine mile run in the wind. Although there are plenty of things that I would rather do the run in the wind (mainly running without the darn wind), it was great! I got outside, I beat nature, and I got to give strange looks back to all the people locked in their cars looking at me like I am crazy. But when it comes down to it I love to run and wind running is really speed, strength, and mental training without it feeling like it. Exercise is only a chore if you think it is. SO starting tomorrow just get up and go, don’t make it an option.
Then there is the amazing reward of getting to sit down and eat two peppers, 4 carrots, an onion, a tomato,and some fake chkn in three tortillas making up some amazing fajitas and knowing that I can eat more. The healthy lifestyle is amazing. No longer do I need to read the ingredient labels to count calories, no I can search for even more food to fill the tummy. Mmmmmmm, gooooood foooood! When you leave out all of that highly processed foods (removing most nutrients) you get amazing, fresh, and healthy foods and you don’t have to watch what you eat.
So what about those long runs? How can someone stay energized and crush a long run without all those gels, powders, and bars? I finally perfected (so far) my running food. The drink is easy as can be. One can of coconut water (I like BlueMonkey), chia seeds (I prefer those that are whole, not ground), more chia seeds (1/8 cup or a little more total), a tablespoon or two of maple syrup (sweet and tasty), and either lemon or lime juice. Blend the chia seeds then mix it all together and it will keep you going for a very long time. Supplement that with pretzels, bananas, and apples and you have everything that you need. When your body doesn’t need to spend the energy on breaking down the processed stuff you have more of your body focused on running. If this does not get you the kick you need then add a few dates (make sure there are no pits or your blender will hate you forever) and I sometimes add just a little bit of salt if it is hot and I may sweat during the run.
What about hunger? I have not made them myself yet but I have tried a homemade version of larabar and they are great and easy. Buy a Vitamix blender, seriously. They are great. Blend together dates, a little lemon juice (or lemon wedges) to keep them fresh. Then add any nuts, fruit, coco nut, or stuff like that. The once mixed make the into bars, roll them in coconut or finely chopped cashews (almost a powder) and store them in the freezer for long term or fridge for short term. (The cashews and coconut help keep them from sticking). Since I work in a grocery store (I Love Whole Foods Market, 7 years and going) I will tell you that bulk is the way to go. And for the dates and nuts you may be able to get a discount if you buy a bunch at a time if you will use them.
Have fun with it. Put on some music, find someone to keep you company and every few weeks make big batches of things. You can save money and have great food without packaging and preservatives. And don’t forget about the internet. Many great ultra runners put their recipes online and they are great. Brendan Braziers book Thrive has a bunch and if you search many people have posted the recipes.
Live Free and Unprocessed!
p.s. If this seems like random post, then welcome to my brain. Completely random and without organization for 23 years and I am still going.
Food or Fake Food?
As I have progressed as a runner I have been told over and over that no matter what you do there is a certain point where you need to break down and do the gels, goos, powders, bars, and the other stuff that barely counts as food. On some of my longer runs my watch has said I burn from 1200 to 4000 calories depending on what I am doing (I doubt its accuracy but the point is still there). It is hard to think of any way to eat enough calories to make up for that in just a few hours. Even harder when you are a vegan health nut who hates process foods and would like to avoid sweet things. Oh yeah, I’m also on a budget.
So what is the solution?
I got ready for my run with a big breakfast, stretched, and was ready to go. Shortly before I left I went to eat a Clif Shot and drink my electrolyte drink and I felt sick just looking at it. Both my body and my mind can tell it is not food, and my body wants nothing to do with it. After returning from my run I saw my uneaten (does it count as eating if it isn’t food?) sitting on the table and I had to get rid of it. No more gross stuff. I have some stupidly crazy goals and I refuse to sacrifice one passion for another. I also refuse to back down and I will be doubling my efforts tomorrow with another long run attempt.
So after all of this ranting what is my plan?
I will start with the usual breakfast, it seems to work, then I will make a change. I will from this point forward be powered by real food. Bananas, pretzels, chia, and other crazy stuff. If people can summit the tallest mountain in the world without Oxygen then surly I can go without synthetic electrolytes for a few hours. And besides, for the cost of a few gels and some sports drink I can buy a bag of pretzels that will last a week and they sure taste a lot better. This is the time to really show what the human body can do.
By the way, I have something to announce. My formal intention to not only run but crush the LA Marathon next year. My 1st goal will be 3:30:00 but I will be trying to train for 3:00:00. Crazy right?
How do you stay motivated on a goal when it seems like such a crazy idea? I have this ridiculous idea (and believe me it is out there) of being a professional athlete one day. My father was an impressive runner (Mostly distance it seems) as was my father-in-law (triathlons) and I want a chance to shine. I never expect to go to the world championships of anything nor the Olympics (but I would love to). What I want is something different. I d on’t want to beat other people, I want to take my goals and continuously crush them. I want to take each and every PR and put it on the chopping block. It just happens that if I ever get to where I truly want to be with this that I would be at the top of the field in many races. And to top it all of I want to do this without dropping my beloved minimalist shoes (I have even been running some without shoes) and I will not stop being a vegan and natural foodist (some say food snob, I say I know what I like).
So what do I really want to achieve you ask? I usually avoid saying because my family and friends already think I am nuts, but oh well. I want to break 2:30:00 (5:40 pace) for a marathon, 1:00:00 for a ten miler (6:00 pace) then same for a half marathon (4:30 pace I think), and a 0:30:00 10K (Around 5:00). For distance I want to one day do an ultra of 100 miles or more, though I am seeing now that that is going to take a heck of a lot of time from my life, we will see.
So who do I run with? Who can I get advice from. Though I have completed some great times and distances already, I need support. There is only so much time my family (Amy and my mother) want to spend on a bike and when it comes down to it, it is hard to ride a 5 or six minute mile on a bike. So where do I go? Who do I turn to? And who will keep me going when all of my goals seem so far off? And who is going to finally challenge me to give me the kick in the rear that I need to grow into the pro I want to be?
Nutrition and food have always been something I struggle with. Although I love to cook and really like healthy food, my lazy living sometimes catches up to me and I want to veg on the couch and eat junk. I have done a lot of searching and have found that one of the biggest differences between a good athlete and a great athlete is their nutrition as well as recovery plan. And it is strange how closely connected those are. The for me, it gets even harder overall because I am a vegan and I care very much about what I eat and don’t like processed foods.
It used to be that when I ran a long way I would get up and have a couple bars, some GUs or chews, and a sports drink. When you look at what goes into those things (there are exceptions) it is terrible. Everything is so processed that I cannot tell you what actually goes into it. But, without the synthetic junk it does not provide the same level of energy without some work. But don’t worry, I have found some ways around that.
As I began to change my diet and get rid of all of the cheese, milk, meat, and processed foods I went from 230 pounds down to 185 or so, and that was without depriving myself. I went from running about 20 miles a week at about 9 minute miles and feeling tired every day to running as many as 40 miles a week at 745 pace. I am running more often, farthur, and faster and I feel fine. I even work on my feet fourty hours a week and travel everywhere by bike or foot.
For years people have been leaving a diet that is not only cheaper but also tastes better and has a lot of benefits. With a simple breakfast of 2 slices of toast and black beans and some coconut water (add chia seeds and agave for an added boost) you will have more energy then you need to push yourself. Then because fruits and vegetables are so easily digest and broken down you can add some veggies and a banana or apple and it will help renew you. If none of that works for you then a quinoa salad with corn, beans, peppers, and such is a great and fast way to get all the protein and carbs you need.
Then for recovery a big plate of pasta. MMMMmmmmmm.
Just because it can work to use all the gu and junk like that does not mean there is not a better way. Try it. You will be able to push yourself harder then you ever have and feel great the next day. If you really cannot kick the sports drinks, try making them. Cheaper, better, and you can customize. Remember this. Listen to your body and it will lead you!