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Showing posts from November, 2010

Has "Ironman Access" gone too far?

The World Triathlon Corporation has announced a new program call Ironman Access.

For a $1000 annual fee, athletes get early access to Ironman events before entry is open to the general public.  Please note access is not the entry fee; rather, it's the opportunity to enter with priority status.

Is this sort of endurance sport business simply supply and demand, or is this special consideration exorbitant?

Read the story via the link below; I'd love to get comments for a future post.

Demise of an endurance athlete

I apologize to my throngs of readers...been dealing with family issues in Wisconsin. To that end, I have been sick with some bronchial/sinus crud, fell off my diet, stopped training, and lost my positive momentum.

As with any house of cards, one can always rebuild.  I'm trying to put that first foot forward.

Stay tuned on an update re: cool vapor humidifiers. Maybe that's the miracle cure I'm looking for.

Ben Bostrom races Lance on his own turf

Just read a great piece penned by a good friend of mine, Henny Ray Abrams.  Henny Ray is a world traveler and motorcycle journalist...but when mountain bikes and motorcycles cross paths, he'll write about it.  Check out this feature story in Cycle News online, about AMA road racer Ben Bostrom putting the torque to Lance at one of Lance's hometown events:

Brooks Trance 9, Axiom 2 and Glycerin 8

I made a big transition this past weekend...ran my current selection of Brooks running shoes through the wash (always air dry), turned them into walkers, and broke our a new assortment to carry me through the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays and into 2011.

I'm responsible to promote and effectually sell Brooks products as a Brooks-endorsed athlete, so I like to train in a wide variety of Brooks products.  My new selection is the Trance 9 (support), Axiom 2 (lightweight) and Glycerin 8 (neutral).
Every time I get into new Brooks shoes, I feel healthy and energized. The crisp fit and elevated cushioning makes me step easy and free.  I can respect others who choose the minimalist or barefoot running option, but it's not for me.  I like to keep my feet in Brooks - models of different varieties and shapes.
Here's a tip for staying as injury-free as possible; rotate into a different pair of shoes each day.  I believe that shoes carry different pressure and impact points, so chan…

"Long Run" revisited

Sometimes I need to process a big chunk of information, digest it over time, then decide what meaning it possesses.
In the case of Matt Long and "The Long Run" it is this:  Long is a better athlete and master competitor than I will ever be.  He has raced in a bigger arena of life and came out the other side wearing confidence and bravado.  And, it's in a humble way. Transparency can sometimes hurt.  Matt hurts all over, physically and mentally, but has opted to carry forward with positive plans and goals.  He's now the force behind the "I Will" fundraising org that helps others like himself.

When I succumbed to Guillain-Barre, it was a really bad deal.  Total paralysis, loss of ability to breath and swallow and intense phantom pain from my nerve system deciding to cannibalize itself.  But months later I did recover and did run again.  My only residual was a bit of balance loss.

In contrast, Matt's horrific accident left him partially recovered.  His inte…

Brooks Utopia Soft Shell makes me special

Now isn't that a silly headline?  Not really when you consider that outside my Brooks Sports apparel, I have no game whatsoever in a fashion sense.

My relationship with Brooks now spans over a decade and I'll never take any of it for granted.  I have been allowed to promote Brooks products at dozens of events, at run club functions and on my Internet sites and blogs.

Brooks keeps its focus on the running community and they have done an exemplary job of delivering the products.  I recently won a Brooks team contest where we assessed new content on the site  If you've not visited there, give it a's one of the best online sources for runners and you can buy many great Brooks products there.

As a prize winner in the contest, I was awarded a Utopia Soft Shell. It's classy and functional with a warm inner liner that extends past the sleeve length, with thumb holes if you opt to…

Independence Mine State Park

I've been manipulating my blog the past several weeks, attempting to get the most traction out of my efforts and serve more readers.  Think I like the idea of periodically changing my  lead photo. It was time for the bear to hibernate so here's a shot of Independence Mine, which sits about 100 miles northeast of Anchorage is Wasilla, Alaska.

This was one of the most productive gold mines in Alaska's history and it seems that signs of the past - and a few ghosts - still permeate the property.  It's an interesting place to visit.  I loved the juxtaposition of colors, where God's handiwork intersects the twisted wreckage and buildings of what was once a thriving establishment.

If you'd like to learn more check out

Playing president with "Decision Points"

Came across this old shot, it's master man attempting to hydrate after a brutal heat run at San Felasco State Park in Gainesville, FL.

Today I was out the door in Boone, NC with several layers including tights and a wind jacket. And wind it was, hard and intense in a special way that is only known through the mountain valleys.

I'm learning to live in the moment and love it all.  Good time in life to realize that there is not better or worse, only different.

Have you found that to be true in your own life?  Try it on sometime...when you're ready to complain, look at the situation and think about how it differs from something similar.  We live in different dimensions of life, different times and places.  No one way will ever fit all circumstances.  So for me, here,'s what it is intended to be.

Ever play "if I were president?"  I've been running and listening to former president George Bush's new book "Decision Points." I let my mind w…

Getting right on Rich Mountain

Made a new segment of the wonderful Moses Cone trails that afternoon. Weather in the NC mountains remains A+ for this time of year and it's important to embrace and experience every foot of trail possible...before the snow hits.

The Rich Mountain loop meanders to the east from Trout Lake, an easy mile climb to the labyrinth that rises to the peak where one can turn in any direction and digest the blue sky, clouds and mountain vistas.

I'm into my mountain man season, a bit of a beard and the off season look.  I'm spending more time in Brooks track suits than I am running outfits. It's all good hiking at a laid back pace has its place in my annual schedule.
Check out the interesting rock tower some passionate soul built at the peak of the climb.  What can the message be?  What was the purpose of this formation?  Maybe I'm asking too many questions.  Just interesting to see what other hikers leave behind - as long as it's not trash!

This is a great time in the year…

"The Long Run" riveting reading

Been listening to a riveting audiobook entitled "Long Run" about New York City firefighter Matt Long and his epic Phoenix from the ashes tale.

Matt, a successful marathon runner and Ironman distance triathlete, was riding his bicycle to work when he was hit and run over by a city bus.  From that point forward, it got graphic.

The seat post of Matt's bike went up through his anus and out his stomach.  Bones were crushed and broken.  Sixty units of blood later, Matt was given a 5% chance of living.  His three year journey back is a combination of wonder and miracle.

I don't want to give away the detail, but Matt climbs back ever so slowly from the devastating injuries.  Many of his rehab stories might make one giggle a bit in embarrassment, but there's really nothing funny about having your rear end rebuilt over many successive surgeries.

His book toggles back and forth from his period of recovery and other prior moments in his life.  He was on the scene as a firef… reports fainting, seizures at initial showings of "127 Hours"

This is more hype that a movie could hope for, but has created a running report of individuals who have fainted, vomited and/or needed medical attention after seeing the amputation scene in "127 Hours."

I want to see this film but I'm not big on realistic violence...will need someone to hold my hand as I watch this plot unfold!

Maximum heart rate thresholds

I'm attaining interesting and useful data from my sport science lab experiment.  Ben Cartner, the student who is conducting the survey, has fed old master man the data...and it's not all that bad for an oldie racer like me!

First, my VO2 max test had leveled off the last five minutes I was on the treadmill.  The thought of pushing to a tad bit higher reading wasn't in the cards.  So I'll have to settled for my 150.6 and live with being exceptional on a sedentary scale and quite average or less on an athletic scale.

Ever benchmark your max heart rate?  It's 220 bpm (beats per minute) minus your age. So my max is 167bpm (220-53 yrs = 167 bpm). 

I hit my estimated max at the end of the 18th minute during the VO2 max session, with a jump from 152 bpm to 177 bpm. During the 19th and final minute of my test, I blasted an impressive 185, 188, 181 and 183 bpm.

I really didn't think I had that upper range.  What I have become is slow and efficient.  I'm doing my current…

New York Times praises "127 Hours"

This new movie may deviate from the ultra norm, but I'm highly curious and look forward to seeing "127 Hours"...with some trepidation.

It's the tale of hiker Aron Ralston and the eventual horror of having his arm trapped against a rock wall by a boulder.  You may have read the outcome of this story in the news...Aron sawed off his own arm to escape and save his life.

James Franco plays Ralston  in this epic pic and the New York Times calls it "nearly say that this movie gets under your skin is only barely a figure of speech. It pins you down, shakes you up and leaves you glad to be alive."

Can any of us imagine our own response to this life or death tribulation?  Could we make the same decision Aron did?  It reminds of of the film "Into the Wild" but this time, with a bittersweet ending.

I plan to watch this movie (if I can) and test my own inner mettle en route.

Master Competitor in Midwest Multisport Life

Master competitor reader and friend Kovas Palubinskas has featured old master man on his popular blog, Midwest Multisport Life.

Kovas asked that I answer a wide range of questions from a Men's Health survey and to be truthful, this is more info about me than I have ever posted on this blog!

So if you want to learn why a 53-year-old man can't stop ultrarunning, check it out:

Cumberland Trail 50K photo gallery

Livestrong MyPlate update

I'm getting deeper and deeper into MyPlate, a wonderful free offering from  I'm promoting this site to everyone who will listen and for master competitor readers I'd say jump in now and reap the benefits.

I've taken many approaches to successful eating, but there's something new and different about inputing food calories and exercise calories and watching the program work the numbers.  I am more conscious about the calorie count in each item.  For example, I was in a Walgreen's this afternoon and on any normal day, would grab a big bag of peanut M&M's.  But on this occasion I flipped the bag over and got the shocking news...480 calories!  That's a big bite in my 2000 a day program, so I opted for a 330 calorie Premier protein bar.

Good decisions and a better plan.

I'm over a week in and tracking the stats.  Everything is visual and accessible and it works.

VO2 Max testing for master's athletes

You may notice that I'm taking a bit of the "zing" out of my headlines, but it's for a good reason.

A friend who is highly successful in online web content publishing told me every headline should best represent what a potential customer would Google as a search term...hence, you'll see more descriptive headlines from me.

Sorry that the shot above is a bit blurred, but this is master competitor taking his best shot at a VO2 max reading.  The blur came from maximum man pushing so hard his brains almost blew out his nose.  I tried to cap the test with the best effort I could, treadmill maxed and some level of incline.  I pushed a 51.6 and that's all she wrote.

Check out the following table from  This site defines VO2 Max as "the maximum amount of oxygen an individual can utilize during intense or maximal exercise.  It is measured as millimeters of oxygen used in one minute pe…