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Hooked on the brand...Nathan Sports

Have you ever considered how committed you are to specific product brands?

Does the grocery store's generic brand do it for you, or does it have to be Cheerios?

I am not one to adhere to brands, but in some instances I am compelled to search for "sign value" and an affiliation with the quality and attributes of a brand.

I'm a Honda consumer. Motorcycles and cars. They work well, are reliable and offer top performance. I may be a Honda owner for the rest of my life.

Of course, I love Brooks running shoes and apparel. They make the best products and I am proud to promote the Brooks brand in my endurance endeavors.

The other area I am brand conscious is hydration packs. I was initially an Ultimate Direction consumer, and at one point went to their offices in northern California to have a meeting about a new product idea (an idea that was later implemented by Camelback). Then, I got into Go-Lite packs, as I read one of the company founders did a 400 mile self-contained journey using Go-Lite products. They're light and minimal, and my two-bottle Go-Lite pack is the ultimate in function.

And check out the image above. It's the Nathan HPL 020 hrydration pack. I bought one, it's full cool and when you have it on, the fantasies roll from the mind. Many of the top trail hotdogs where this Nathan pack. It holds a full 2-liters of fluid and carries well on the body with a unique holster that distributes the pack weight. The pack also offers carry pockets on the back and front, where access is most critical.

Bryce Thatcher, the man behind Ultimate Direction, went on to build the Nathan brand. Dana Miller, a top ultra racer, is also into Nathan R&D. If you're going to step up to a hydration pack, make the extra effort to find a Nathan. It's not for the mainstream, but it's a product and brand that I want as part of my master competitor endurance sport effort.


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Scott Jurek ate vegan, won ultras...then got divorced

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I was recently on a few flights making my way home to Wisconsin and en route was able to plow through Scott Jurek's new book "Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness."

It's a fast, enjoyable read. I've been around the ultra scene for a long time and have known some of the greats, i.e. ultra champ Eric Clifton. So it's always interesting to see how the world looks from another icon's point of view.

My thoughts in no particular order:

1) I've been vegetarian/borderline vegan for 12 years and have always been concerned with protein intake.  Jurek advocates for the protein he naturally induces through his plant-based diet.  Maybe that is enough. Maybe it's not necessary to bang down 100+ grams of protein supplement every day. Good info and good advice.

2) I'm buying on big time to Scot…

Nothing to see here, folks

It's been a long time since I've been active on my blog. To be honest, I got tired of putting in the work, creating content, with so little feedback or response. Time to divert to other things...such as my new fiction book, coming out soon. Part horror story, part steamy romance. You'll definitely want a copy.

There's another reason I haven't been posting. My endurance spirit is broken.

Some medical issues, some sadness is loss of speed. I don't have much range left in my pulse rate and I have put on a blob of weight.

I "ran" my 10 mile loop this 2:18. Is that ugly, or what? An overall fatigue follows the run. I remember a few years ago, I'd bang it out in straight 9's for a 1:30 - and at that time had a long section of medium effort trail included, too.

It's the new normal. It's age appropriate. I'll be 59 in two weeks. Let's get real.

Rode my mountain bike Sunday after church. Don't know what I hit but I went…


You have to look closely (click and enlarge photo if needed), but when you do, check out the 5th metacarpal (bone furthest from thumb).

The diagonal break is symbolic of what happens when your mountain bike handlebars snap around 360 degrees, and those bars catch your hand against the bike frame during the rotation.

Well there you have it. I got up after my ride over the bars and knew something was wrong, but didn't want to admit it. Rode about three miles back to the car, then went a week with some ice and heat. Thought it was good, until I smacked the same bone on the bars during a road ride the following weekend.

Time to stop the charades and get to urgent care.

For the past three weeks, I have been in a formed splint that kept the pinkie and ring fingers immobilized in a hooked formation. Don't want those tendons to move across the bone. As the doc stated, it's a "forgiving" break, but nonetheless you don't want to give the bone any excuse to shift; that…