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Showing posts from July, 2012

Aqua Sphere Seal swim mask makes it fun again

Sometimes I get in over my head (for my age) and totally cook my legs.

Ten mile runs in the mornings and hard 25 mile mountain cycling rides in the afternoons has a numbing effect, with little snap left in my performance.

When all else fails, it's time to swim.

I noted these wide vision goggles in a recent Total Immersion swim DVD and they looked inviting.  I ordered a pair on Amazon ($22) and was not disappointed. Instead of the little bug eye goggles I have been wearing for years, this new design fits well, seals out water, and gives a wide panoramic view of the swim pool and surrounding areas.

I'll never be a great swimmer, but that doesn't matter. My days of improving swim stroke are over and now it's a relaxing exercise that unloads the legs. If you haven't been in the pool before (or for awhile) maybe a pair of Aqua Sphere's is the motivator that will put you in the water.

Rob Apple caps it with 100K in Italy

Here's how it looks coming down the finish line chute for Rob Apple as he capped "the vacation of his life" with a 100K finish in Italy.

"It was interesting," said Rob via email, "all the races I did started and finished at the local town church!"

I can sure relate to the scenery, global geography and historical nuance...but 120k, 100k and another 100k in three weeks? Wish I knew where Rob gets the performance elixir he's drinking...I want a cup or two!

One positive aspect of Rob's personality is that he cherishes the experience more than the timed outcome.  There's a lot to learn from that.  When most others our age have dropped from the ultra scene, Rob is going strong week after week, setting his own pace and taking the finishes as they unfold.  No pressure, no expectations, just an adoration for nature and the encounter with the trail.

Thanks Rob, for sharing this wonderful journey and setting the bar high for the rest of us.

Women can shoot hoops...sometimes

Thanks to advertising guru Frank Stier for forwarding this YouTube segment; sometimes we need to refresh our perspective on freedom and what it means to celebrate within the parameters of sport...enjoy.

Rob Apple is jacked up about running in Chamonix

"I'm at the base of the glacial above Chamonix, 4 hour hike to get up here. One of my favorite spots to be" emailed Rob Apple this morning. He's having a great time ingesting more mountain life, prior to his final 100K in Italy this weekend.

According to Wikipedia, Rob's play area for the day sounds enticing:

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc or, more commonly, Chamonix[1] is a commune in the Haute-Savoie département in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France. It was the site of the 1924 Winter Olympics, the first Winter Olympics. The commune's population of around 9,800 ranks 865th within the country of France. Situated near the massive peaks of the Aiguilles Rouges, Chamonix shares the summit of Mont Blanc with its neighbouring commune of Courmayeur in Italy, and owns the title of highest commune in France. The commune is well known and loved by skiers and by mountain enthusiasts of all types. With an area of 245 km2 (95 sq mi), Chamonix is the fourth largest com…

Rob Apple bangs out 110K in Switzerland

Despite a bit of unwanted adventure, ultra icon Rob Apple just knocked off 110K in Switzerland, race 2 of 3 in his European quest.

"I barely made it to race number two," said Apple via email. "I had a flat tire and the rental car had no spare. I was stuck in no where's ville waiting on a tire, didn't think I'd make this. All is good now, it's a beautiful place."

Rob finished the 110K and is moving on for more excitement. "It was lots of climbing; I'm getting ready to board train for Zermatt now. This is the best vacation I've ever had."

I'll keep you posted on the final event in the Rob Apple trilogy...what a guy.

Now I'm shopping "local" for vegan power

I realize that many who are of the vegan persuasion would also adhere to a "buy and grow local" approach to foodstuffs.

That I can understand, so I wanted readers to note that some of my intake may originate at Wal-Mart, while other components come from locally sourced food stands like this unassuming business in Boone, North Carolina.

You not only get fresh (and some organic) locally-sourced foods, but also a bit of chit-chat and good conversation at the check out counter.  I engaged in an interesting discussion regarding the growth of area farmer's markets...and the high costs associated with what has become in some areas a trendy, yuppie, social event. The owner of this establishment was instead trying to keep prices down so that in his mind, the middle-class can afford his products.

I was also told that one of the biggest customer bases at this establishment are students from Appalachian State University.  We are an environmentally aware group of citizens and student…

My new fad: The Wal-Mart vegan diet

I have been reading/listening to a couple of different ultramarathon authors who lean heavily into the vegan diet. Vegan seems to be all things; a healer, a performance booster, a mind re-generator.
Just as I became jacked about going fruit and veggie crazy, the realities hit home.  All one has to do is shop out some of the recommended products at your local health food store and it's clear that I'll need a second job just to afford this style of eating...every price Chia seeds lately?
So I'm going somewhere into the happy middle.  I'm on the new master man vegan plan and it's a low buck deal at that. Here are some thoughts for you budget minded endurance athletes:
1) Frozen vegetables are known to retain much of their nutrients.  I go for the Wal-Mart great value veggies; the stir fry mixes are a buck 98 and the mixed veggies go for even less than that.  
2) Sam's is great for prices on bags of apples and bananas.  They also have good fresh and frozen vegetable op…

Rob Apple is climbing in the Dolomites

Super ultra runner Rob Apple is now living a dream vacation and sent me these amazing photos from his 120K jaunt through the Dolomites in Northern Italy.

According to the UNESCO website:

"The site of the Dolomites comprises a mountain range in the northern Italian Alps, numbering 18 peaks which rise to above 3,000 metres and cover 141,903 ha. It features some of the most beautiful mountain landscapes anywhere, with vertical walls, sheer cliffs and a high density of narrow, deep and long valleys. A serial property of nine areas that present a diversity of spectacular landscapes of international significance for geomorphology marked by steeples, pinnacles and rock walls, the site also contains glacial landforms and karst systems. It is characterized by dynamic processes with frequent landslides, floods and avalanches. The property also features one of the best examples of the preservation of Mesozoic carbonate platform systems, with fossil records."

Almost seems otherworldly, …