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Showing posts from April, 2011

Streak running and ShadowShots™

Some thoughts from a glorious day in the North Carolina mountains:

1) I need to give a shout out to Ben Greenfield's podcast; that's where I grabbed the info on Dr. Minkoff and prolotherapy.

2) Found 15 cents while running this morning, first a nickel and then a dime about 10 yards later.  That's one drawback of the Chi running stance; you need your face pointed at the ground to spot those valuable pieces of change.

3) Been thinking more about a running/fitness streak, i.e. not missing a workout over an extended period of time.  I remember well my big streak back in the 80's when I had over 3.5 years without a miss.  On some occasions was out at 11:30 pm for a jog.  At that period of my life I set a 30 minute run as the minimum "official" workout to keep the streak alive.  Now, it's a different game, but I'm getting the itch to amass another streak.  Used to blow off Tuesdays most of the last two semesters.  It's the day I teach in Hickory, NC, wh…


If you're running out of options and the last resort is letting the doc into your knee or shoulder with a scope, maybe there's another course of action.

According to Dr. David I. Minkoff, M.D., that option may be prolotherapy.  This rather radical approach to rehab excludes ice, heat, and anti-inflammatory such as Motrin.  Instead, it's based on the theory of "ligament laxity." Minkoff says that prolotherapy is painful based on multiple injections into the joint, but that he has an 80% success rate. He believes the treatment will get the ligaments tightened up and back in place.

Just what is the magic juice?  It's an injectable form of Traumeel, some other holistic mix called Zeal, and the doc says once in a while he'll pop you with a bit of human growth hormone.  This form of "extra other stuff" will get deep into the joint and it's there that the purported healing occurs.

Dr. Minkoff claims he ripped his groin big time, couldn't walk o…

Descent down 194 into Valle Crucis

Remember my post where I chickened out on the final descent of the Blood, Sweat and Gears loop?  Thanks to Roni from the Boone Area Cyclists (who forwarded this link) you can ride along on a fast trip down this sketchy section of road.

This video runs long; I'd suggest fast forwarding to around 4:30 and you'll see the hairy parts that had me puckered and on the binders.


The "ultra shuffle," Bonhoeffer and Easter

Having a great mini vacation in Bethesda, MD have been back on the Rock Creek Trail.  Saw a cluster of small, underfed deer the past two days. Made me think about how we took their home and forced it to be our home.  That area is completely surrounded by urban sprawl; where can they go?

There's tons of buzz in the running world about body stance (ChiRunning) and minimalist running (Vibram FiveFingers shoes).  Most of the associated propaganda centers on footstrike.  The line of thinking is that beefed up running shoes have altered our natural stride.  We run erect, take an aggressive stride forward, impact on the heel and roll ahead.  The new modern approach is to lean the body forward, utilize gravity to pull the our mass ahead, and use short strides with fast turnover, landing on the forefoot.

We had a dog in the hunt for that philosophy decades ago - it's call the ultra shuffle. I acquired the technique by elder ultrarunners who understood how to conserve energy...a short s…

Adverse effects from EAS 100% Whey Protein

I'm a big Sam's Club there weekly for the best bargains in town. On my visit last week, I picked up a 5 pound bag of EAS 100% Whey Protein.  I have been thinking about the benefits of whey...positive relationship with lower blood pressure, better assimilation into the muscles after workouts, and more grams of protein per serving.

One of my biggest barriers to whey is perception, in that I don't like to know I'm anywhere near bovine growth hormone.  But unless you plan to break the bank for organic whey protein from grass fed cows, you could be ingesting hormone residue.

I tried the EAS product once, standard mix in my smoothie - and was sick all day. Terrible headache, stomachache, and overall dizziness.  I thought I might have used too much powder; two scoops in about 24 ounces of juice and some frozen fruit.

The next night, I tried again, using one scoop in about 12 ounces of coconut milk. Once again, I had a pinging headache and aches all over.  I'm n…

Burke Hospice Metric Century

Took a drive one hour south of Boone to Morganton, NC for the Burke Hospice Metric Century.  The event's promotional piece stated:

"Proceeds from the ride will benefit Burke Hospice & Palliative Care. Burke Hospice cares for over 100 patients per day who suffer from serious illnesses like cancer, heart failure, and Alzheimer's. No one is ever turned away for an inability to pay. Fundraisers like the Metric Century are vital to Burke Hospice's patients; since 2008, the organization has provided over $2 million in care without any type of reimbursement. "

That point was driven home when the tour's official starter stated he used to love cycling, but now has terminal cancer.  He asked us to be thankful for the great day before he sent us on our way.  This event is held in a picturesque area that encompassed James Lake, which was a great view to our left for several miles.  The rest stops were excellent and everyone was into the spirit of the cause.  

The tour w…

The Impact! Body Plan and pulse zones

I'm back into a subscription to Men's Health magazine. This pub is one stop shopping for exercise, fitness, diet and love life. Can't go wrong when someone has all the answers!

Was perusing a recent issue and saw a reference to Todd Durkin's Impact! Body Plan, regarding pulse zones.  The old model that has been in play for years is 220 - age = max heart rate. 85% of that is max target rate and 65% is minimum target rate.

Durkin digs a bit deeper and comes up with a formula that will give you a different range.  Here's the Impact! man's plan (I'm inserting my numbers as an example):

1) 220 - age (54) = max heart rate ( 166)

2) Calculate resting heart rate: Beats per 10 seconds x 6 = 48 (I get my RHR twice a day on my blood pressure meter)

3) Calculate heart rate reserve: MHR (166) - RHR (48) = 118

4) Determine minimum target rate:  HRR (118 x .65) + RHR (48)  = 125

5) Determine maximum target rate:  HRR (118 x .85) + RHR (48) = 148

The Impact! plan jacks up …

Endurance tenacity and life success

Got into a solid gym workout this morning.  I enjoy the time to expand thought while training.  Today's theme was the positive relationship between endurance sport discipline and life success.

For most all of my days, I have been surrounded by an environment that propagated "average."  Can remember a factory job as a teenager, when a co-worker exclaimed, "Hey, slow down, the pay is the same!"  In my mind, average equates to going to the back of the line; I'm not one to do well stacked up behind others who are getting better opportunities.

I did average pretty well until my endurance sport epiphany in 1983.  Then I learned that success means there's always more, another pound to lose, a race to finish, a workout to complete.  Endurance sport makes you strive for excellence.  As I mentioned before, I'm a man with average ability - but a world class attitude.

Other areas of my life represent the results of the endurance sport mindset.  I wouldn't h…

Binge food Tuesday

The wheels came off the locomotive today; it's been downhill since I went to pick up my state car for the drive south to Hickory, NC this morning. Someone left a box of moon pies and I nabbed two of the little devils. That was the start and then came a Sam's Club 4 Berry Sundae for lunch, a medium frappe at McDonald's and a large box of malted milk balls.

Throw in my normal wheat bread, banana, apple and Larabar and my day's calories are more than expended.

The only recompense I can bring forward is that I bought a 5-pound bag of EAS whey protein and plan to pick it up a notch on the exercise and diet.  Whey = dairy = cows = hormones which doesn't turn me on, but the price point on this stuff at Sam's is too good to pass up for $30.  I looked into whey derived from grass fed cows, but I'd have to hock my car to buy some.

One other positive report is that I used to blow off Tuesdays - when I teach in Hickory - and skip workouts. Can't do that so I devis…

Blood, sweat and gears

One of the biggest mountain cycling events in my part of the world is Blood, Sweat and Gears.  This sell out tour has 50 and 100 mile options and draws a motivated crop of competitors.  You can check out the ride at:

Some of the top guns from the Boone Area Cyclists posted a ride this past Saturday...a training day on the BS&G 50 mile loop.  We set out at 9 am from the Valle Crucis school and from that moment forward, it was an epic day.

I'm not much on remembering routes, but I do know we toured through Blowing Rock (a portion of the Bistro ride), up and down many climbs, near the parkway, through Banner Elk and down a torn up Highway 194 back to Valle Crucis.  Matter of fact, the under construction 194 has caused BS&G to be rerouted for 2011.

I had to come to terms with myself once again on this outing.  My climbing wasn't bad and for a good part of the day, I could hold pace with the big boys.  Now that I'm riding…

Bistro ride and loud mouth riders

Here's a brain dump from my latest mind meanderings:

1) I'm reading devotions by Henri Nouwen for Lent.  It's really insightful.  One morning, the lesson was focused on not judging others.  We really aren't aware of what place of life someone may be in, or the pain they might be experiencing.  There was a really loud dude on one of our recent rides, in an overpowering way with animated gestures, forcing funny stories regarding his latest rides, ha ha ha stuff. Really broke the vibe that afternoon.  My bias flared and I was about to judge such actions, when I was forced to look inward.  I have been an A-class A-hole on certain occasions, due to inadequacies, insecurities or unprocessed anger.  My tongue needed to be bridled.  So as Covey would tell us, "seek first to understand, then to be understood."

2)  I'm not completely over the coffee abstinence.  Life just isn't as fun.  I'm lethargic in the mornings and the exercise sessions are a complete …

Tour de (Lake) Lure

Ever see the movie "Dirty Dancing?"  Remember the summer scenes at a lake?  Old master man was able to see the origin of those movie segments - and much more - at the 7th Annual Tour de Lure Ride.

This event was hosted by the Marion (NC) YMCA, a great facility with a great cause:  All proceeds from the ride were used to support kids who can't afford swimming camp.

The ride took me to my limits.  Winds reaching 30 mph brutalized us all day and we ascended to 5300 feet elevation.  The terrain was scenic and we eventually toured though Chimney Rock and around the lake.  It's a great destination and I plan to go back on another social occasion.

I've learned that mountain cycling brings out the hammer heads.  These guys ride to finish and finish fast.  I just don't have the drive to push to that limit.

Here's a confession: I was riding alone and cruising into Chimney Rock when I saw a Hershey's ice cream shop.  The pack raced through town, but master compe…

Breaking the coffee addiction

For over 30 years, I've been putting on a fresh pot of mud every morning and slurping down 3-4 mugs of hot Joe to get the party started. Over time, it because more necessity than way I could hit my morning workout without that blast of caffeine.

Coffee was also a staple ingredient in my social life.  I don't consume alcohol, but the local coffee shop is always part of master competitor's fun time.  Reading, conversation and that hot cup of black liquid.

I made some changes over the past several weeks.  Based on blood pressure issues and overall health, I knocked coffee out of my diet.  The addiction ran strong so I came at it by mixing 75/25 beans (25% decaf), then 50/50 and finally 25/75.  That last ratio was barely worth the trouble, so starting yesterday I transitioned to Yerba Mate tea in the morning.  It does have caffeine content but at a much reduced level to java.

The Yerba Mate makes for a much different perspective on the day.  I had two large cups…