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Showing posts from June, 2011

David Hannaford on and Injinji customer service

If you're into the big miles in prelude to this summer and fall's ultrarunning events, no doubt you've pulled up lame with foot injuries.

Listened to an interesting podcast from, with podiatrist David Hannaford:

There are solid comments on how to manage foot damage, prep your feet, and wear the right shoes.  But what really caught my ear was a comment that over the past couple of years, Hannaford is seeing more forefoot/ball of the foot area injuries.

Hhhmmm....might that be due to Chi Running (promotes forefoot strike) and the new minimalist shoe/barefoot craze?  I had to chuckle a bit because at times, it seems we're chasing our own tails...or the tails of those who promote new and "better" revelations in running.  I'd suggest it's best if we all remain an experiment of one and make our own preservation plans.

Also wanted to put th…

Jornet wins Western States 100 (updated)

Spaniard Kilian Jornet, 23, won the 2011 Western States 100 mile endurance run.  Time was 15:34.  Second was Mike Wolfe (33) in a time of 15:38.  Third was Nick Clark (37) in a time of 15:50.

2010 winner Geoff Roes dropped at the 55 mile mark, as did 2009 winner Hal Koerner, who dropped at 70 miles.

In the women's contest, Tracy Garneau, the 2010 winner, led much of the race but faded in the late stages.  Ellie Greenwood (32) took the female division win in 17:55, followed by Kami Semick (44, 18:17) and Nikki Kimball (40, also 18:17). Garneau, 44, was 4th in 18:22.

Western States 100 on live!

The Western States 100 is well underway!  Leaders broke 62 miles in around 10 hours.  Here's the real time scoreboard...enjoy!

Ultrarunner and The Cranked Calorie

Thanks again to ultrarunner extraordinaire Dirt Dawg ( for keeping the endurance sport world aware of all things great and new.

Dawg gave a shout out for two new web sources that will surely add to your your training - Ultrarunner and The Cranked Calorie.

Can't wait to download all ten of the currently available podcasts on Ultrarunner  This site features interviews with elite runners like Geoff Roes and all time ultra madman Gary Cantrell, promoter of the Barkley Marathons, among others:  I had to delete "feed" at the beginning of the RSS link and replace with "http" for it to work with my Zune software)

And for the cultured among us, how about an online literary magazine for endurance sport?  Hold onto your bladder pack because here it comes...The Cranked Calorie. This site promises a "summer sweat edition" soon with categori…

Football great Danny Wuerffel contracts Gullain-Barre

Last week, former U of FL quarterback and all around great guy Danny Wuerffel contracted the same nasty disorder that hit master man in 1993:  Guillain-Barre Syndrome.  The ultimate cause of this disorder is not known, but in some strange way antibodies go nuts and decide to eat away the body's nerve sheaths.  Bad stuff.
Danny is fighting back, and seems to have succumbed to a "light case" with limited paralysis in the limbs (I was a "complete" with total paralysis and loss of breathing function). Following is an excerpt from a letter Danny posted to fans and friends.  Let's pray for Danny's recovery. It's a long road that sometimes takes more perseverance than a man/woman can muster.   I seem to get just a little bit better each day, and feel confident that the worst is behind me. I feel so grateful as my experience with Guillain Barre (Why couldn’t the doctors that discovered this syndrome have been named  Smith/Davis or something?) seems to have bee…

Get out to vote: Should master man attempt a 100 miler?

Hey Master Competitor readers...lend me your vote!

I'm like a kid on a teeter-totter regarding this fall's racing plans.  One part of me (maybe the fantasy element) wants to make a run at the Pinhoti 100 mile, in Alabama in November.  Hard, but not killer with 14 miles of Jeep roads and 4 miles of pavement.  I would have to approach it as a speed hike, and if I houred out, shake the promoter's hand and walk off the course.

The other option is to have recreational fun this fall and run 3-4 50k's.  I'm looking at the Stump Jump and Cumberland Trail races in TN, and the Iron Mountain and New River 50k's in Virginia.

Check out the voting option top right.  Cast your vote for my future.  I promise that if elected, every ultra event will have unlimited pizza and tech shirts!

Unbreakable: The new Western States 100 film

There's a new film coming out soon, a documentary by J.B. Benna on the 2010 Western States 100 endurance run.  Here's a powerful 4:32 blast of what's in store. Gives me goose bumps to watch these elite distance runners fire their engines. Enjoy.

Hard fall on the Rock Creek Trail

Was out for another steamy run on the Rock Creek Trail in Maryland this morning.  It's thick and humid; the air seems to press your clothes, hot against your skin, until sweat envelops your body and apparel into one gooey mess.

Every get out of rhythm on a run? One time I got out of rhythm for an entire season. Couldn't set foot on a trail without taking a fall.  Today was a bad spot for me.  I banged my head on an overhanging tree appendage and events went downhill from there.

Was listening to a recent installment of Dirt Dawg's podcast.  He was doing a nice job of over-viewing his son's efforts at baseball and the dynamics of team sport at that age. I was almost to my turnaround point when my toe caught a root.  The ensuing violent snap of the body is like the crack at the end of a whip.  I jolted forward, took three big tripping steps, and caught myself.

That's the warning light to be careful, so I went about five minutes further, then turned back for home.  Eve…

Boone Area Cyclists suffer injuries

We've had a tough start to the summer season of mountain cycling in Boone.

I really love the guys I ride with.  These dudes drop the hammer on the crank and ride hard and with authority.  I aspire to be like them, but sometimes can't shoot the gap between my ability and their prowess.

I've been traveling the past several weeks and missed the local rides.  Had a report two weeks ago that Chuck took a bad fall while riding a descent on the new Blood, Sweat and Gears loop.  He's out for at least another month with collarbone, rib and pelvis injuries.  Chuck is a stand-up, noble guy who has a great relationship with his wife.  An excellent role model.  I went to visit him this past Saturday to offer a bit of conversation to pass the time.  That's what Chuck has for now...time.

Then another email hit the ride list-serve yesterday.  Steve, one of our best riders and leaders, went down in a pace line crash on the Bistro ride this past Monday.  He's out for the long c…

TrailRunner magazine: Strength-to-weight ratio; Diana Finkel and failed kidneys

I've been on a bunch of airplanes lately and that means I finally dug through a pile of magazines.

Here's a shout out for one of my favorites, TrailRunner.  It's a light read with wonderful images that keep me jacked up about moving off the pavement and onto the dirt.

The June issue features a great piece by Jim Freim in "Master's Voice." Jim tells us bottom line why we're slowing's a strength-to weight ratio (SWR) sort of thing.

I love to measure and rank myself, so if you do too, have at it:

1) Get down close to the carpet and max out the number of push ups you can do.  No cheating, they have to be clean.

2) Calculate your core strength/strength to weight ratio by taking your weight and dividing by the number of push-ups.

Freim states he has seen CSSWR's from 3 to 200.  Under 5 is good, 5-8 is adequate and over 8 is taking you out of the game.

I'm afraid of my current blubber to push up numbers so I'm saving the test for a fut…

Overrated: Breakfast and recovery

My time in Wausau is winding down.  I'm savoring the greenway trails next to the Wisconsin River, as tomorrow will be my last jog prior to departure Friday morning. For those of you who haven't seen it, here's my photo tour of the running path from 2009:

Traveling is love/hate proposition for me.  From Italy to Wisconsin and now DC on Monday, it's all a break from the norm...and my cocoon of life where optimum training exists.  No way I have kept to a respectable diet. The ice cream and pizza are jumping down my pie hole and I'm carrying that blubber waistline again. Only redeeming master man quality at present is an ample running base, with the 90 minute efforts each morning.
So for those who think this blog is about narcissistic me, I'm adding a bit of wisdom: Breakfast before training and recovery for injuries is way overrated (FULL DISCLAIMER HERE ONLY AUTHOR'S OPINION NOT ADV…

Mancow, Paleo Diet and is Gene in trouble with Shannon?

There's a lot coming out of my brain here's the top level view:

I'm greatly enjoying my running loop in Wausau...can't beat the crisp low humidity mornings.  And when here, I love to tune in to 104.1 FM and listen to the antics of Mancow (  The morning radio personality mixes politics with Hollywood in an entertaining way...check his site to determine if there's a broadcast on a station near you.

On today's show, Mancow featured an interview with Dr. Robert Rey ( better known as "Dr. 90210" the plastic surgeon.  Dr. Rey is coming out with a new book on looking young and vivacious (my word) and according to him, it's about the Paleo Diet - the cave man model of fruits, vegetables and lean meats every 3 hours. By the way, grains are a no-no, but supplements by the handful are in.

And in other national breaking news, the long live-in relationship of Gene Simmons and Shannon Tw…

Protect your head with a cardboard helmet?

Remember the old Bell Helmet ad campaign?

"If you have a ten dollar head, wear a ten dollar helmet."

If you're buying what the makers of the Kranium helmet (left) are selling, you'll forgo the standard polystyrene lids and instead snug up a custom-fitted unit made of of standard cardboard box material!

The makers of this helmet claim its construction will absorb five times the impact of a standard bicycle helmet and that the Kranium model has already passed standard crash test ratings.

I'm interested in the concept, but the cosmetics are a bit too BMX/skateboard for old master man. Would also seem the Kranium is a hotbox and that the design lacks air flow and cooling vents.

Nonetheless, we want all master competitors to stay aware of the latest endurance sport news.  If that means you're opting for a wooden bike and cardboard helmet, drop a comment so we can feature you in an upc…

Wisconsin Off Road Series in Wausau!

Wausau, Wisconsin's Nine Mile Recreational Area was the site of today's Trek Big Ring Classic. The Wisconsin Off Road Series touts itself as the biggest state racing series in America.  And by the hundreds of riders at today's event, it's clear this organization has developed a well run program with great infrastructure and rider support.
"Big Ring" was right.  These randy competitors were grinding the big gears on this fast, granite-based course.  I spotted a couple of master man style riders, but for the most part this is a young man's and young woman's game.  The intensity in competition was evident.  I  spectated on a single track wooded section; riders were pounding through wheel-to-wheel and I envisioned myself being off the pace and holding up a fast moving freight train of off road talent. 
I have become comfortable in my own skin and was quite OK at today's event.  Years back, I'd be agitated and ornery about the fact I was leaning on t…

Shipbuilder crafts custom wooden bicycle

Most master competitor readers know the evolving models of bicycle frame components.  We had all titanium, there was all aluminum, then aluminum with carbon forks and stays.  Then we morphed into the all carbon world most of us prefer today.

Should we consider crafted woods in the mix?

Check out this amazing work by Sueshiro Sano, a 9th generation ship builder.  You have to click through to the following link to get close ups of this amazing work:

Know what I love about great craftsmen?  They design and build some things just because they can.  I don't think I'll be ordering one of these mahogany beauties anytime soon, but you'd have to appreciate the diversity of anyone who did!

Motocross: Does fitness lead to winning?

Been watching "The Moto: Inside the Outdoors" documentary series on Fuel TV:

Some of you may know that master man's first true love - and career - was driven by the world of motocross.  I was on the national circuit as a journalist, then marketing executive, during the early 1980's. It was a dream to exist on the inside of that great sport and its athletes.

"The Moto" depicts the up and down lifestyle of today's top riders, inclusive of the training tactics necessary to win.  Some viewers may have a hard time grasping the concept of rider as athlete; it's just motorcycle riding, right?  Anyone close to motocross will quickly inform you that the sport requires an intensity that can only be accomplished through physical prowess.  Most of the leading racers now employ personal trainers.  In fact, 2011 Supercross Champion Ryan Villopoto gave high props to his traine…

Trek Big Ring Classic in Wausau

The Wausau community features a great riding area christened Nine Mile Forest. When we were teenagers we'd blast across these trails on dirt bikes (motorcycles) but now it's a regionally well known mountain bike park.

I'll be heading out of this Sunday after church to check out the Trek Big Ring Classic.  The Cat 1 men and women go off at 1:30 pm (24 miles for females, 30 miles for males) and it looks to be a great contest.

Nine Mile is also the host location for the upcoming Wausau24 (hours) on July 30.

It's great to see these grass roots events prosper and thrive in my hometown.  Check out the variety of events featured by the Wisconsin Off Road Series:

New York congressman Anthony Weiner: Why men expose their bodies

OK, I'll admit it, I'm going for some easy to attain web search traffic.

But once thousands of inquisitive readers land here, they'll be please to see what master competitor has to say about Anthony Weiner and his over-exposure issues in cyberspace.

Here's my take on it: It's society's fault.  We have become a nation obsessed with vanity training; most any magazine cover will frame a scantily clad male or female, six pack abs shouting for attention.  We may not all possess the body of the cover model, but we aspire to it.

I'm a big fan of Men's Health magazine.  One of my favorite subscriptions.  And I have to admit that reading the publication got me back into the gym over the winter.  I'm not a weight resistance guy but getting cut was motivating and rewarding.

So here's the rub:  When you develop that Anthony Weiner physique, what's a guy to do with it?  Few of us are in professions where shirts are optional.  Most (just like Anthony) wea…

Master's runners and pain management

I've been babying this gimpy right foot for six months.  Plantar Fasciitis is a tough injury to overcome and I've been staying in the gym, supplementing elliptical trainers and cycling whenever possible.

I did all I could.  And the pain remains.

It's not always the same pain.  It radiates from the tendon in the lower foot to the ankle, to the top of the foot and back 'round to the bottom.  But it's a manageable pain and I'd suggest slowly morphing to a lower grade sensation than in weeks prior.

Here's the lesson in today's post:  For master competitors, we'd be retired for good if we curtailed running until that perfect, pain-free day came over the horizon.  Fact is, from this point going forward, it's going to hurt on most occasions.  Our creaky bodies have been dinged over the decades and recovery is slow, many times not at all.

I'm in Wisconsin, the weather is wonderful, and I'm out the door before 7 am each morning for my 90 minute l…

Wausau, Wisconsin and a summer's day run

Back in my hometown of Wausau.  Seasonal heat and small town life.  Can't be better, this is the essence of the northwoods.  Some might embrace winter as part of the identity, but for me it's the lazy days of summer.

Busted out this morning for my Wausau loop jog.  No more ice and restrained trail, now it's all granite and sand. Deep, lush greenery though the woods.  Saw a teenage boy with a fishing pole on a path along the Wisconsin River.  He waved me over and shared a fawn sighting.  This youngster held a wonderment and joy about spotting wildlife near an urban area.  Made me realize I'm sometimes numb to nature; I appreciated the reality check.

Coming back to one's hometown always raises a state of revelation in my bones.  Where I've been, what I'm doing now, what I have yet to accomplish.  My lame old body tweaked during the run and I once again visited the possibility of a 100 mile run this fall.  Is there one left in this old frame of mine?  And more…

Back in Boone: Trail running and a bike crash

Took me about 30 hours door-to-door to get from Rome to Boone, NC.

Good to be home.  Not too whacked out by time change.  Got settled on Tuesday and snicked a short gym workout in during the afternoon.

It's amazing I'm not as big as a barn based on bad eating in Italy.  I have gelato coming out of my ears.  But we also walked most all day, every day.  Different than a morning run, then letting the old rear end spread across the office chair all day.

Went out this morning and completed my greenway trails loop.  Watch a shift from a month ago.  What was a barren, brown forestland is now a plush green tunnel through the woods!

We had a pretty sad piece of news from over the weekend.  Check out the email I received about one of my Boone cycling buddies:

Subject: Chuck Hendrix Cycling Accident! Guys we had a Brother in Jesus and Cycling take a bad Spill Saturday on the Pre-BSG 50 training ride! He was from my understanding going down the back side of Georges Gap toward Bethel which ca…