Weight Loss

Old Pueblo 50

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I ran in the Old Pueblo 50 Ultramarathon this last weekend. It was an experience. This post will take some time to write so I am not sure when it will finally get posted. There are pictures and a long story to go with it all. I am just organizing my thoughts around this whole thing and will get it all written down, it will just take a little time.
I was ready for this race. I trained and I felt great. I had the gear and the nutrition. I was primed and ready to knock this out and make this race my bitch. The weather was going to be cool with a high in the 60s with a chance of rain. Ideal running conditions. A large part of this run was in rocky terrain which I have done before so was not really an issue. The only issue was finances. I have not been working for awhile so the cost was a major issue. I as contemplating cancelling but for some reason, I did not.
I was excited and looking forward to the challenge. My friend and I left Friday afternoon headed toward Tucson. We had to pick up race packets by 6 and we made it with time enough to make it to the hotel and a dinner his team RaceLab, was having that night. I have met and trained with some members of the team before and we had a nice dinner. There was some advice given which boiled down to: enjoy the run and trust your training. We got to bed about 9-3:30.

I slept a few hours that night but when 4 am rolled around, I was awake and felt quite rested. Even so, I felt off. Something did not feel right. I did not put too much into it and got ready. We followed other team members to the start/finish location at Kentucky Camp where we dropped off our drop bags and got ready to go. We had five locations where we could have our own supplies for nutrition and clothing. Miles 7/29, 25, 33, and 40 were drop bag locations and there were aid stations every 3-5 miles through the course as well. I had nutrition and Heed-filled water bottles in each bag. The first drop would be where we were to leave our headlamps and warm gear. This was a good place because we could also pick any of it up again because it was the same station at mile 29. We had to have a change of shoes at mile 40 (and possibly mile 33) because there is a river crossing after the mile 33 drop. I actually put shoes, a hat, a shirt, shorts, socks, and EFS in each drops as well. My mile 40 bag also had warm weather clothing and another headlamp.
This would have all worked out well but for the weather. At the start, we had 20-30 mile/hour winds. This was not so bad but I think this contributed to my own problems as the race went on. I was a little fatigued as we went on but this is not abnormal. The altitude as well as the fact that it was 4 in the morning. We also stated with a fair amount of uphill which is difficult when you are just warming up. I think I would have been fine but I still felt odd.
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At mile 1.5 a first happened for me, my bib came off. It is not like it was not secured. I had it pinned to my fanny pack and it tore off through the pins. Weird. Would have been more of a problem in a bigger race but, with only 144 people running, I just had to tell the stations my number and we were good. Uphill for several miles really was taxing for me. I was not tired nor fatigued, I was affected by the altitude but I think it was also the wind. When we went downhill, the wind had stopped, and it was effortless for me. We made it through the 3 mile station and went on to the 7 mile station. I felt good but it was going to be our first long trip without a station. It was only 6 miles but my weird feelings did not cease. My friend was keeping a steady pace and I was keeping up with him. Somewhere around mile 10, I started to realize I might not be able to make the cutoff time to reach mile 25. I was making progress but it was not fast enough. I decided to let him go ahead and try to make it without me. I did not want him to miss finishing the race because of me. I started to take my pulse so I could gauge what was going on with me. My pulse was running at about 90% of max and that was too high. At the mile 13 aid station, I sat for a bit and I told him to go ahead so he could finish the race. I continued on with the hope that I could find a way to make it to mile 25 before the cutoff time. I started walking more on the uphills and a little on the flats so I could recover and my HR came down and my pace picked up a bit. This next section was thorough a lot of rocky, mountainous terrain but I navigated it, albeit slowly.
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I should note here that right before mile 13 we started to notice missing markers and almost got lost. After we left mile 13, we started to have a lot of problems. As I mentioned, this part of the course is through the mountain and there are a lot of trails passing through the area. We had to guess and rely on our maps to find our way through. My friend and a few others who were lost eventually left me behind at about mile 15. Right around now is when the rain started. It was cloudy the whole day but we did not expect that it would rain for the rest of the race. Literally, it rained from about 11 am until 9 pm (the final race cutoff time). I had to go slow from about mile 15 to 19 because I had no trail markers to follow and I played tracker at times to figure out which direction to go. (There were several events going on in the area that day and, apparently, the horse riders pull down the ribbons maliciously.)
There is a beautiful canyon I had to go through just before heading to mile 19.
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Beautiful, unless you have to run down it because the thing is all rocks. That played havoc with my toes but I made it fine. I arrived at station 19 with 25 minutes to get to mile 25. 6 miles in 25 minutes was not going to happen. I dropped out and waited for someone to drive me back to the start. It was at this point that I realized that I was without transportation or dry clothing. It is one thing to be running and know you are going to be wet, tired, and cold. It is something else entirely when you are going to have to stand around for 7 hours waiting for warm, dry clothing. I asked the person driving me if we could stop and get my bag at station 25 since I had dry clothing in there. I was wrong. I did not put anything but the shirt, shorts, socks, and shoes in there. I did not even have another base layer in there. It would not have mattered because they left our bags sitting out and they were all drenched by the time I got there. I was still contemplating the issue of no transportation as we drove. turned out that the path we took was a road, the same road the runners were on. I was hoping we might run across my friend and I could get his keys. I saw him running between mile 25 and 29 and offered him some of my supplies and some dry gloves got his keys, and we left. I think we got back to Kentucky Camp around 2-2:30. I did not go into the camp because I was freezing, so I went back to the hotel. I took a shower and got a little food. I rested a bit and planned on returning by about 5. I got back to the camp at about 4:30 (I was going to go get pizza before I returned but I forgot). I am glad I did not delay my return much longer because things were afoot…

More in the next post.
Namaste

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Old Pueblo T minus 3 days

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On Saturday, a friend and I will be embarking on our first ultramarathon. I look forward to this race. I have not gone this far in one run before. He is an Ironman so he has gone this distance before, but never just running. The forecast is nice weather and it is in the middle of nowhere. I am excited. This will be fun. I spend the next couple of days packing my drop bags and making sure I have it all planned out. The only wrench is the possibility of rain. I really do not like wearing long sleeves much less a jacket of any kind when I run. I am not sure if the tradeoff of possibly being cold is enough motivation to wear long clothing that might get soaked. Try lugging that around for miles until you can drop it off. My friend is concerned about the combination of distance and elevation changes so we are running the whole thing together. I was hoping to do this race fast, but friends are more important that personal best times. This is our first ultra, so this one is for the experience for future races.
I will continue to go vegan for this race. I will be bringing rice balls with chia seeds, beans, and nutritional yeast for protein, calories and carbs. The will be cooked in turmeric and ginger for the anti-inflammatory effects. I will also be bringing an energy drink that has lemon, chia, and ginger to reduce swelling. I have a large bag of Heed as well as packets of Perpetuum for electrolytes and calories. I will have Hammer gels and e-Gels on me and at each drop along the way.
This should be a fun race. I will try to post more later or tomorrow.

Namaste.

2014 Goals

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First, I obviously did not meet my goal of 200 total posts by last night. I have quite a few unfinished drafts though.
Second, I have decided on a distance goal for this year. 1000 miles. This comes out to 2.75 miles a day. I think this is rather conservative but it is a start. I will focus on that one goal and go from there.
Third, I will set a goal of 52 posts for the year. Once a week. If I reach this early, I will decide how to proceed from there. If I reach the goal a year from now, I will be happy with that as well.
Fourth: love, laugh, smile, give, live, BE.

Resolutions 2013

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Looking back at last year, I posted about Resolutions. I did not really make resolutions for this year. I think this was a good call because making them would probably have been a huge fail. I wrote about making promises. When you make a promise and keep it, it gets easier. Your willpower increases with each success and decreases with each failure. I have not done an official tally but, I think I am slightly above 50% for successfully keeping those goals for this year. Had I made resolutions for 2013, I would have made them too grandiose and numerous. I find that one or two goals with little goals along the way is best. I am finally getting to the point where I can schedule my day/week/month better and perhaps get more accomplished. Perhaps I will make more goals for 2104. (perhaps I will actually make goals for this year since I am putting them in writing)
Next year will be about finding my center. 2013 was about moving myself off center and getting rid of those things that were keeping me from my center. (Wait, what is a center? I will write about that in another post.)
I have maintained my weight for most of the year and I am now down weight so I can run better next year. I ran more last year and actually got into somewhat of a schedule. Although I began the 4 months to a 4 hour Marathon schedule, I changed my goal to the ultramarathon so I discontinued that schedule and now I am focusing on longer distance run training. I have cleaned and uncluttered my house more in the last 3 months than I have in the last 10 years. I have not read but I listened to quite a few books this year and I think I have learned quite a lot.

More later. Not just because I want more posts but because I need to go do stuff.
Namaste.

Are you hurt or are you injured?

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Just hurt. Not much working out today. I fell while running yesterday and hurt my toe. Planks were difficult. Did not feel it much until I got up this morning. I started to run but after a mile I was not able to run on it without feeling like there was a nail in my foot. Went home and put it in compression. It is a little stiff now but does not hurt. I was able to walk/run about 2 miles today. Unfortunately, my legs are stiff after not being able to run again today. We will see what tomorrow holds. The rest should help both my legs and toe immensely. I know my complete recovery time will be longer because I am not juicing but I think it will still be lower than in the past because I am not taking in animal protein like I once did.
Watched

    Turbo

tonight with the kids. It was very good. That one will be a purchase. We already got

    The Croods

. We watched

    Planes

and we were not impressed. The movie seems a little too ‘talky’ and dry for little ones.
I have to say that I am not really training directly for the marathon anymore. I will probably not be running in the marathon next month so I will focus my attention on the Ultramarathon in March. It is a fun run with an elevation change of 8k feet in southern Arizona. I have been working on increasing my speed and I will be increasing my longer runs to help my brain wrap around the idea of running for such a long period. I have taken 6 hours to finish a marathon before but this is a different animal altogether.
My son has had a rough couple of weeks at school. He has been getting marked down for behavior. Yesterday the teacher marked him down for cutting his hair. I understand her point of view that he was not using class supplies appropriately, but this is a case of natural consequence. He cut his hair, and will have to live with the goofy look he has. Perhaps she has a problem with the fact that he did this in class and is afraid of how it will look on her as a teacher. I don’t know, but to mark him down through the class behavior system seems a bit ridiculous to me. Calling the parents might be appropriate but not marking him down on the behavior record. I can see the traditional thought pattern running here. The teacher is responsible for the student at school and if they do anything ‘abnormal’ the teacher is held accountable. That is the ‘legal’ aspect. It is also the old way of looking at behavior. My perspective is, you do not need to punish for something that already has a natural consequence attached. Is her marking him down for cutting his hair somehow going to deter him or others from doing this in the future? Doubt it. Did she teach him anything by marking him down for cutting his hair? Un-friggin-likely. My only conclusion is that she had some anxiety about the act and could not resolve the issue in her mind or heart unless she did something about it. The only thing she felt she could, mark him down. Not, use it as a teaching moment. Not use a creative way to discuss it with him or come up with a consequence related to the action. No, use the limited punishment/reward system she has in her classroom to deal with it. Teacher? FAIL. Harsh? Perhaps. Teachers often do not perceive their role in teaching more than academics. We now include socialization in academics because of the rise is awareness about bullying but the fail comes as a result of the system and she is just the end result. The education system is set up to get kids off the streets and out of our hair while we go to work. The recent evolution of this system is to get kids to learn how to think well enough to get into college. Now it is becoming more and more a system for getting kids a trade so they are not as much of a burden on society. Sadly, they are often not taught directly the resons for why they need to learn the rules, they are just taught to obey the rules (I do not remember ever seeing a rule posted about cutting your hair in the classroom. I will have to look closer next time I am in there). All they are going to learn from this type of system is how to get around the rules they do not agree with or get in the way of having fun. I fault the teacher for not using her clever teacher mind to change how the system deals with situations that stray from the normal misbehaviors (not following directions, hitting, etc.) and fall in the range of creative and perhaps weird (cutting one’s hair in class, peeing in the corner, or standing on the table waving around unclothed body parts while singing ‘God Save the Queen’ to the tune of ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’). I understand the teacher has limits for handling behavior in the classroom but how we handle the normal is testament to the system and how we handle the bizarre is a reflection of who we are. When a person responds to behavior that is clearly outside the box by trying to put it back in the box, a disservice is done to both the boxer and the boxee. What woud I have done? Take a picture and text it to the parent. At the very least, have the child call and talk to mom and/or dad. Is this on par with hitting someone (for which the same level is assigned according to the classroom behavior system) I would not say it is. I just pray for whoever gets my daughter because my son is a pice of cake compared to that little spitfire.

Good night folks,
Namaste.

Sunday’ smusings

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Not a typo. I was just being clever and creative in my alliteration.
Watching football today I was jealous of Philly and Pittsburgh fans who got to sit through that awesome weather to see those games. No this is not sarcasm. Football was intended to be played in this type of weather. In fact, the Steelers usually play better in this type of weather. No, I am not happy with the result of the Steelers game so this weekend was a letdown for football all around (ASU is in the Holiday Bowl and they have not won that bowl in 3 tries).
Spent the day cleaning while my kids tore up the house like a couple of animals children are wont to do.
Went to the grocery store and saved 40% of my bill. Not exactly extreme couponing but I will take the win.
Tomorrow will involve: 30 minutes of weights and core training, 2 hours of running, mopping, and moving furniture, followed by removing more sealant from my counter to prepare for re-grouting my crappy tiled kitchen countertop.

Until tomorrow,
Namaste

Saturday snippets

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So I missed posting yesterday. I should be able to make that up.
continuing the streak and also some core workout yesterday. I did not do much yesterday. Been feeling very lazy lately. Part of this is probably having no stressors and lots of time to get things done that I feel I have nothing pushing me to do work around the house. Or I am just lazy. Whatever it is, I have a lot to do especially since winter break is in 2 weeks and everyone will be home for 2 weeks straight. If I do not change my behavior now, I will not only get nothing done during that time, I will also not get in any training then either.
Arizona State lost in the PAC 12 Championship game last night. Not too surprising. Not to say I was not hopeful, but every time ASU gets in the national spotlight, they crap out and fail miserably.
Hanukkah is over and the presents are all given out. That is nice not having to search for presents and stand in obscenely long lines. Well, not feeling the stress of those lines anyway. I went to Costco Friday to return some Craisins I bought that went on sale the day after I bought them. I went inside to get some snack items for Y’ school snacks. As I went to check out, it looked like I was approaching an airport terminal on Thanksgiving weekend. A 15 minute shopping trip turned into an hour of waiting in line to get some apple mashups and graham crackers.

Goals for this next week.
1. 15 miles of running each day. I will divide this into 2 workouts each day with the tempo in the morning and the intervals at night. The intervals will be running intervals speeding up for each interval.
2. Hourly planks. I will do a 3 minute plank each hour at the top of the hour (yes, even while I am running).
3. One room a day. At minimum, I will clean up and do everything I need to get done in one room of the house each day. (The garage does not count :P)

The yard and the garage are for the following week.