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Product updates

Have to admit I'm a sucker for marketing pitches and I got a bit hooked reading USA Weekend's story on Jillian Michaels, of "Biggest Loser" fame, talking about diet changes.  One we've heard before is don't suck down liquid calories and get off the sodas.  Her recommendation was the new Crystal Light Pure Fitness, made with the natural sweetener called Truvia.  I'm a Splenda man from way back, have tried Stevia (another natural sweetener) and found it to have an aftertaste.  But I did pop for a box of the grape Pure Fitness...I mix it in a large water bottle with ice and it's a tasty after-workout treat.

Just busted a new pair of Brooks Ravenna out of the box.  Here's a product description from the site:

Combining BioMoGo cushioning with a mild support post, the smart, adaptive Ravenna meets your changing needs. Some runs demand more support than others, so the Ravenna provides just the right amount, when and where you need it. Hardworking feet swell after a long flight or day at work. Extra adjustability in the Ravenna’s upper means more instep variability for a perfect fit, every day. Brilliant. Weight: 10.8 oz

I like the Ravenna's glove-like fit with ample cushioning.  It's a fairly light trainer, so my thrashed master competitor legs can turn a somewhat brisk footstrike.  I keep three pairs of shoes in rotation, so that I have an alternative model and impact point each day.  Right now I'm into the Brooks Ghost 3's, the Ravenna and a pair of Brooks Adrenaline ASR trail shoes.

Heard about the protein supplement scare? reported after extensive testing that products such as Muscle Milk and  15 other brands are producing protein products that contain harmful heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury.  I need to be more like my brother Richard and read the labels.  Monitor the fuel you're pouring in the engine.  It matters over the long haul.


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

(Disclaimer:  I am a Brooks-supported athlete; as part of that relationship, I was provided a complimentary copy of "Eat & Run")

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…

Build your low cost gravel and commuter bike

It's the saga of Craigslist. You have a great perfect condition road bicycle to market. You ask a fair price. A few calls come in, most often the caller throws out a low ball offer, maybe 50% of asking price.

You don't need to give the bike away. You may not need the cash.

Consider re-purposing. You already own an excellent commuter and gravel bike. Think your bike is too low end, not good for the purpose?

Wrong. In most cases less expensive bikes are build with heavier parts, which means they are stronger. Heavier wheels = better ability to absorb commuter bumps and gravel roads.

A few simple modifications and you'll be rolling for transportation or logging road expeditions.

Here's my 2011 model Specialized Roubaix. I rode it for several seasons as a serious piece of road equipment. A few buyers offered up a few hundred dollars, so I went in another direction.

1) Added 700 x 28 Continental Gatorskin tires. Gatorskin tires wear like iron and you can trust them in off …

Now this is better...

Hey, I don't want to dole out too many epic photos in one day...but after that fatty shot from the New York City Marathon, I had to dig a bit deeper, and found this:

Check out that attractive specimen (second from right) circa 1986...only a year earlier and Tommy Terrific was looking pretty ripped.

I'll tell you this triathlon training camp was one of the high points of my master competitor career. On the left is Mark Hinson, the best triathlete in the southeast in the mid 19890's...and far right is Frank Kohlenstein, a soccer coach from South Carolina and the dude who got me into ultrarunning...that's tanned and toned Tommy next to David Bailey, one of the greatest men who ever threw a leg over two wheels with an engine.

So, right around the time of this camp, I crewed for Frank at the Western States 100 mile endurance run in California. Hinson ran with Frank through a very tough 20 mile desert section and when he made it to the next check, he pulled me aside and told…