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Showing posts from January, 2010

The man who taught New York to run

Just finished watching an entertaining documentary on New York Marathon founder Fred Lebow. The man was a visionary who also played missionary in bringing average runners into the sport and into marathon competition.
If you have Netflix, you can view this movie online. Much of it entails the running boom of the 1970's. The initial New York City Marathon was conducted in Central Park, but the transition to the five boroughs of New York came as part of the United States Bicentennial in 1976.
There's much to be said, both positive and negative, about Lebow. But he was loved by those around him, many friends and business associates alike. Fred loved the sport and called the New York Marathon his child (he never married or had children).
Lebow succumbed to brain cancer in 1996, but not before completing the NYC Marathon in 1994. He was finally able to run in the race he had created.
I was fortunate to have run in the New York Marathon in 1987. And, I met Lebow and sat at lunch …

A-hole factor

The North Carolina mountains are blanketed in a fresh snow. More is coming down...we're looking at 10 to 12 inches by later today.
I layered up in winter running gear, laced on a pair of Brooks Beast and went out the door. Cursory efforts have been made at plowing and shoveling, so I made my way down the edge of roads that had been cleared.
Some of you may know I'm a social scientist, so I think in terms of research. My 90 minute run today generated the following hypothesis:
H1: Motorists who are early adapters to major snow events have a positive relationship between time on the road and their grand mean on the A-hole scale.
H2: There is a relationship between a high grand mean on the A-hole scale and ownership of large, four-wheel drive trucks.
I don't want to generalize and make assumptions, but I believe my hypotheses will prove to be statistically significant. Most the the truck-wielding operators took me within inches of my life, while other motorists in vehicles li…

Live and love

We're looking at 10 to 15 inches of snow in the North Carolina mountains this weekend. I'm in for the night, after stopping by the grocery store. The local citizens were making a run on food, but I got most all I wanted with the exception of bananas. Don't know how life can be lived without daily doses of banana, but we will see.

There' s a pair of snowshoes in the garage; they followed me all the way from Ohio through Florida to here. I got rid of most everything else, but those snowshoes are in a box. So tomorrow I may lash them on and venture through the woods down to the green way.

This has become another of those "stay in the moment" episodes in my new life in Boone. It's non-productive to make comparisons to Gainesville. This is my life and I am embracing it.

A new publication is on the market. It's from the Road Runners Club of America and is entitled Club Running. "Running Unplugged" by John T. Cacioppo, PhD, talks about the nee…

Naked test

No photos to accompany today's post.

We don't do X-rated content here.

So instead, visualize this: You disrobe to the point of total nakedness. Now, position yourself in front of a full length mirror. Go full frontal, then twist a bit to get a peek at the left and right backsides.

What do you see? What are you thinking? What are you going to do about it?

This is the master competitor naked test. It takes the right frame of mind and a particular attitude but when I'm in that special place, I'll look, confirm and analyze.

No, I'm not ready for the cover of Men's Health, but I'm not a total blob, either. The new diet and regular exercise have starting to firm and tone in places that couldn't be seen (or I wouldn't allow to be seen) several weeks ago.

The newest aspect of the naked test is this: I'm allowing myself to be on the journey, taking better care of myself and achieving fitness. I'm less judgmental of myself and less concerned about …


One of my longest associations in endurance sport is with Brooks.

I built my relationship with the company back in the early 1990's, when I was marketing director of Mercury Marine's hi-performance division. You might be having a hard time making the jump from powerboats to running, but here it goes:

One of our offshore racing customers was a large Seattle-based shipping magnate named KjellRokke, who decided to make a business investment and bought Brooks (at that time an independent company). The engineers at Mercury had a line to Brooks products and I was brought into the fold.

I started to use, enjoy, then trust Brooks products. From then until now, I have been able to promote their running shoes and apparel throughout my multi-sport activities.

It's a proud moment to announce that for 2010, I have been allowed to be in Brooks' most elite promotional group, its Bluestreak program. Out of several thousand associated athletes, 200 were selected for the opportunity to …


Not much to see here, folks.

This is a sample of the fresh, raw poundage I'm pushing into my pie hole around noon each day.

Life has become about substitutions. Instead of what I want, I eat what's good for me.

Let's not lie to each other: This salad, ingested with olive oil and season salt, is not a great eating experience. I'd much rather have the whopper PB&J with thick cut homemade whole grain bread that I usually have. But the belly is pushing against waistline on my tight fit boot cut jeans and it's time for a switch.

The closer we eat to "alive" the stronger we become. This salad is made with fresh veggies I get every few days from the grocer. It's like putting gunpowder in Tom Terrific's canon and kaboom! I'll be shooting out of the starting block at the Icy 8-Hour February 6.

I'm also attempting to break my peanut addiction and have opted off the goobers for healthy cereals. Right now I'm into a flax/Omega 3 product that…

Frosty fun

I completed yet another 50K this past Saturday at the Frosty Fifty, held at Salem Lake in Winston-Salem, NC.

Check out the finisher's award at right. Classy. Machined metal with laser cut engraving. The event also provided purple tie-dyed long sleeve t-shirts; I opted for a medium and look like Ben Stiller in Zoolander. Think I'll keep that one behind closed doors.

We didn't run like snowmen for long; the day started chilly but within an hour the sun was up and temps were in the high 20's.

The Frosty Fifty was a double out and back, which provided four (4) segments of equal length to pace against. I ran the first segment in 1:13 which put me on 5-hour pace. The second segment (back to the start) was about 5 minutes slower, as was the third segment. Then I somehow got a burr up my butt and ran a negative split the final segment to post a 5:11 finishing time.

I had a companion the first four hours of the race. Gene Simmons of KISS self-narrated his autobiographical b…

Jurek's world

"Born to Run" contains numerous threads of anecdotal information on Scott Jurek, a 7-time (consecutive) winner of the Western States 100 mile run.
Jurek, a transplant from Minnesota now living in Seattle, is all talent and no brag. He's a quiet performer who leans towards the spiritual side and shuns most forms of self-promotion.
Scott is one of Brooks Sport's top athletes and is instrumental in the development of the light and responsive Cascadia, a Brooks trail running shoe.
I'd be giving it away if shared more info, but if you opt to delve into Born to Run, make it a point of learning more about one of ultrarunning's best.

Born to run (my mouth)

There's been so much buzz on this book that I finally had to read it, or rather, listen to it on audiobook while running.

"Born to Run" is a new publication that documents the running history of the Taramuhara Indians, their spiteful race with ultra goddess Ann Trason, the advocacy of barefoot running, Barefoot Ted as part of that advocacy, and diet magic that can make you run hundreds of miles with a smile on your face.

Author Christopher McDougall does an excellent job of combining an epic assortment of running related topics. The story of the Taramuhara running in the Leadville 100 mile ultrarun was well known within the ultra community when it happened several years ago; but McDougall frames the information in a way that brings the tale to the masses.

If you'd like to glance into the peephole of an ultrarunner's mind, give this book a listen or read. Strange things happen when one stays on the trail for 50 miles or more and McDougall brings forward an agenda t…

Cook it up and eat it down

Here's master chef and master competitor prepping some good eats for an evening meal. Simple is best when it's about energy and weight loss, so check out my fabulous tofu and stir fry feast.
I like to start with a block of tofu, not pre-cut mini cubes. Trader Joe's was the source for this recipe (if you haven't shopped at Trader Joe's make it a point to find one in your area...or elsewhere).
I cut the tofu into large chunks, then brown in olive oil on medium heat. Once the tofu is crispy, I add a selection of fresh cut vegetables - on this occasion it was broccoli and carrots.
Slow turn the vegetables into the tofu for about 5 minutes. Then, add your choice of stir fry sauce. I like Saigon Sizzle on most occasions. Turn for another minute or so, then serve hot and tangy over brown rice. I'd like to tell you how many this dish serves, but that really depends on me. Hungry big men need food and lots of it, right?
Let's make the journey together toward an improve…

Tasty and trim

Want to trim up and maintain taste in your diet? This option is worth having in your weight loss arsenal. It adds a unique taste without calories.
Stop at the grocery store and buy a bottle of Morton Nature's Seasons. I don't want to call it salt, because the good folks at Morton came up with a product that is much more (I managed a NASCAR race team marketing effort for Morton in the early 90's, it's a great company with great people).
Here's a retail definition:
Morton®Nature's Seasons
Nature’s Seasons®Seasoning Blend This perfect blend of onion, garlic, salt, pepper and other natural spices brings out the flavor of fresher, lighter foods without overpowering them. Use it on chicken, fish, vegetables, pasta and even salads. Try it in dips and salsa and as a topping on freshly baked bread and rolls. MSG-free.

I have found that instead of calorie-laden salad dressings, a splash of olive oil and Nature's Seasons is great. I also pour it in soups, on veg…

Steamy story

No, I don't have some hot romantic interlude to report; rather I want to intersperse a few blogs on how a fatty fat fat master competitor is forging a path back to fitness...and one large asset in my fat busting arsenal is my Sunbeam two-stage steamer.
If you want to dump weight, go non-processed food. I'm not one to call on 100 different recipes as part of a poundage purge. I eat clean and graze often. When it comes to meals, hit the steamer for a great and simple preparation tool.
A good staple food is brown rice and plenty of it. Place a dish of one cup rice mixed with one cup water in the bottom section of the steamer. Set on 30 minutes. When that bell goes off, dump a ton of veggies into the top hopper. Set for another 20 minutes. When that bell goes off, load your plate and dig in.
Hey, put that fork down! Before slathering a bunch of goop on your food, consider cinnamon and Splenda on the rice, and a good dose of Morton seasoned salt on the veggies...more on that …