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The Bethesda, MD area was hammered by a huge storm last night.  I was partially asleep but training in my sports law class bubbled to the surface..."get the kids off the field if lightning and subsequent thunder strikes are less that three seconds apart."  The stuff last night was simultaneous so I knew it was all on us at once.

Went out this morning and rushing water was everywhere.  My beloved Rock Creek Trails were submerged and adjoining roadways parallel to the trail were also closed and under water.  Crazy day took me through neighborhoods and city parks, just enough to get my 90 minute run.  Don't know when the H2O will subside but it sure puts a cramp in my daily running rituals.

Was reading a bit yesterday on proper protein consumption.  A good rule of thumb is .5 - .8 grams of protein per pound of body weight, leaning towards the .8 for athletic types.  I weigh around 170 so I'm looking at 56 grams a day.  Right now I'm doing Premium Protein Bars (excellent deal from Sam's Club @ $14 for a 15-bar box) that deliver 30 grams per bar, and I'm doing my morning smoothie with Naturade Total Soy meal replacement, which adds 13 grams of protein. I'm switching to Trader Joe's soy protein (another super deal at $12.99 for a 32 oz. jug) which will bring my daily smoothie protein up to 25 grams.  At that point I'll be nailing the required dose of protein, not counting what I assimilate through my vegetarian diet.  All good I'm feeling strong.

Had some great responses to the barefoot debate.  Regular master competitor reader Scott (check out his cool blog at stated:

"I took a ride on the barefoot bandwagon last fall. I bought two pair of VFF, and went on several runs with naked feet - even a 5-miler on a trail. While I appreciated the "being free" aspect of it, I still wanted more protection for my feet. My trails are rocky and rooty, and I like to run them fast and hard (I couldn't do this barefoot). The paved trails near me are splashed with loose gravel and all sorts of debris. But I did notice that my footstrike changed to more of a mid-foot/fore-foot strike than my previous heel strike. And my feet and lower legs gained noticeable strength in just a few weeks. And when I did run in shoes (which was still at least half of my training runs each week) I now knew what if felt like to have a more efficient footstrike, and I was able to duplicate it better. So while I knew I wanted more protection for my feet, I didn't want TOO much protection - I'd definitely saw benefits of more minimal running. So I've thrown out my Adrenalines and now I train only in lightweight, less "supportive" shoes: Racer ST 4 and Green Silence. And I generally only wear my Cascadias on the more gnarly trails. (2 of my trail ultras this year were done in Racer ST 4s.) But I haven't gotten rid of barefoot running completely, either. Mondays are my easy days, and I try to make it a barefoot or VFF day - but only in the park and only on 100% grass. I run 3-5 miles on these days, nice and easy, as a gentle reminder of the stride I want to run with. Scott Jurek mentioned after the WR 50 a couple weekends ago that Brooks is (finally) starting to work on a lighter weight trail shoe. I'm looking forward to this." 

Another regular MC reader, Robert, forwarded this interesting comment.  FYI, Robert's poison is vintage motocross - a sport that requires endurance fitness to perform.  Robert writes:

" First, I'm no ultra-runner. Heck, I can hardly walk anymore! I applaud the 'freedom' associated with barefoot running and hold our indigenous ancestors who practiced it in high regard; to each their own. However, just as I wouldn't suggest a nudist's lifestyle for everyone (especially me), I don't believe this barefoot thing is for every person, either. I learned this lesson the hard way many years ago.As children growing up in the coalfields of West Virginia , we rarely wore shoes (contrary to common folklore, it wasn't because we didn't have them, it's just that we preferred not to wear them). The hills and creeks were our playground, and shoes were optional. At the tender age of 6, I stepped on a tree branch, which had apparently been used as a fencepost in a previous life. A rusty, six-penny nail entered the right side of my left foot, mid-arch, penetrating most of the way through. While memory of the pain from the puncture has long since vanished, I can still vividly remember the pain from the tetanus shot (needles and drugs were not nearly so well developed in those days). Anyway, to this day (46+ years later), I still walk on the left edge of my left foot, because I had to walk that way for so long back then. Would running shoes have helped? Probably not. Would boots have helped? Probably so. Moral of this story? Running, playing, or working, the correct shoe is important. Just my two cents worth."

Great to have different points of view...hey, we're being good citizens here, aren't we?  Keep the content coming.  I'll be exploring a few new hiking destinations in the DC area so stay tuned for more. 


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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")

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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.

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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…