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.
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.
tonight with the kids. It was very good. That one will be a purchase. We already got
. We watched
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,
It has been almost a week since I posted and this one is just a check-up. I have been 99% vegan. I taste my cooking for the family but I do not eat animal products as meals any more. I have been 99% juicing for meals for quite awhile now. I cannot even remember the last real meal I had. I think it was when I made ugali. Last night I made hummus and it was awesome. Way better than the stuff I have found in the stores. I would like to try it with peppers but I have to be careful because my wife is allergic to the whole nightshade family.
I have been running sporadically because I have been working on strengthening my core and changing my form. The picture of the huaraches indicates my nod to the barefoot/forefoot strike running form. I have been running about a mile to the high school track and running laps around the track sans shoes or socks. I have really noticed that my form is changing but I think another week or two will cement this and strengthen my calves and upper ankle for this form. My calves are mega tight and sore not only while I run but also the next day too. the recovery is better with the foam roller and the ITB roller I have been using. I will be wearing my compression pants when I run in the future, perhaps I need calf compression socks. I have been working on some goals for the future. I have mentioned the marathon next January and then the ultramarathon a month later but I have really been looking at possibly doing more ultras. I think I have the ability to do ultras. I might try for at least one more next year before I begin training in ernest for the triathlon.
I really feel that vegan is the way to go with all this. Not just for the health benefits, but also to decrease my footprint on the environment. We have been going to the farmers’ markets for the veggies and buying less processed foods.
One odd thing I have noticed since I started juicing is heightened sensitivity to salt. I am not wanting to eat the salty foods anymore. That is a start!
So as I have mentioned in past posts, I bought a Ninja to make my smoothies. The price is a major fact in my decision but it works really well in breaking down the veggies into tiny bits. The downside is that it is not very smooth. A bit like I would imagine drinking a glass of sand with some tasty bits of coconut thrown in. A couple days ago I found a magic bullet for $15 on clearance. I had looked at this little tool before but the cups were too small to be of use and Consumer Reports did not even list this as a blender (it is a chopper). Their review was less than stellar but they did say that it is very good at pureeing. I figured, $15 is worth the risk. This thing takes the chopped mess a Ninja creates and turns it into a real smoothie! I am thrilled. I can now wait a little more comfortably for the VitaMix money to accrue and the prospect of drinking a glass of chlorophyll is not quite so daunting.
*These are my opinions based on experience and this is not a sponsored post, but I would not be offended if VitaMix reps were to offer me a VitaMix machine to test and review :)*
On a whim, I stepped on the scale this morning. Let me start by saying that I have not run much since the half marathon in January. I have been doing core workouts and cardio weights every day.
I have been doing push-ups, pull-ups, flutter kicks, barrel rolls, trunk twists, leg lifts and twists from the pull–up bar.
The only real change is the juicing. I weighed myself the day I started and I was at 182, up a bit since my weight loss challenge but still down 14 from October. It was expected without the running like before the race. I actually expected a bit more but my clothes had been fitting so it made sense. since the race, I changed to a vegan diet and then to juicing and I have noticed marked differences in my mood and energy levels. No more coffee. No more meat (fish, chicken, beef, etc), animal milk products, or eggs. Salads for dinner and pita with hummus for lunch until I started the juice fast.
The scale today said 176. One pound up from November. Not bad. Now, P90X and running to kick it into gear. Old Pueblo Ultramarathon in Tucson, according to Sir Who-Complains-A-Lot-More-Than-My-Little-Girl, next February. I still want to qualify next January. We will see.
I have been making a juice in the morning before i leave for work. These tend to be rather tasty and not at all heavy like the ones I drink later in the day.
.5 c blueberries
2.5c unsweetened almond milk
1T maca powder
3 large black kale leaves
This one was excellent. I left it in the Ninja for a little longer and no large bits were in the drink.
2 t spirulina
1 c water
.3 c almonds
2 c unsweetened almond milk
2 black kale leaves
1 cutie orange
.25 c blueberries
1 c ice
Much more liquid and very good taste.
2 c unsweetened almond/coconut milk (new product, this stuff is great!)
.3 c almonds
.3 c pineapple
2 c fresh spinach
.5 c orange juice
1T maca powder
2 t spirulina
.3 c blueberries
This one was the best one yet! Great taste and consistency!
I have found something new. This will take a little longer for me to achieve but I know this path is right for me. Ultraman. This is the peak of fitness. This is insane too. The great thing about anything worth doing is if it is insane. Insane things mean that they defy logic (well ‘traditional’ logic). Insane means that society generally frowns upon it. Insane means people do not believe you can do nor should you even attempt it. Ultraman is a double triathlon. Insane. 3 days, 320 insane miles or something like that. Another aspect of this is switching to vegan. Can’t be done
you say? Two words….Rich Roll. Look him up. He was a world class swimmer in college but he was derailed by alcoholism. 20 years later, he has an epiphany/mystical experience/midlife crisis however you want to phrase it, and he decides to get fit. After a DNF (did not finish) at his first marathon (my friend and I ran that one that same year) and triathlon, he decides the next logical step, Ultraman. He gets a coach and goes full bore into his diet removing as many processed foods as possible and he finished 11th in this 35 competitor event in Hawaii. He trained for 6 months for this event. Impressed? I am blown away. His next time, he won the first day of competition over guys who have won this event multiple times. He fell off his bike the second day and had to coast his bike for miles to get help, but he still finished 6th overall. Impressed yet? The next step? Epic 5 with his friend Jason Lester, an impressive athlete who does these races with only one arm. ‘Epic 5?‘ You ask? 5 Ironman runs in 5 days. He has only been doing this since 2009 so the story continues. You can read it in his book Finding Ultra and try his products at Jai Lifestyle I have yet to try the products but I am sold on the other changes.
The intriguing thing about his story is that he took insane to another level by going vegan to do it. VEGAN? you might ask. As in no animal protein. ‘But, you need protein to build muscle and repair tissue after workouts or you will get major fatigue and have to wait longer to work out again. Forget going for such a long race with only plant products, you can’t do it’ This is conventional wisdom. Conventional wisdom be damned. Conventional wisdom also says you do not heal from cancer, you hit your children when they are out of line, and you can pick food off the ground within 3-5 seconds without any contamination. There are a lot of things we ‘know’ from conventional wisdom that are either never tried or never challenged.
I have attempted to go vegetarian in the past, but failed for one reason or another. Mostly because my wife has health issues and cooking for her is difficult enough without having to make two separate meals for us every night. Cost has always been a problem too. There is also the prevailing ‘wisdom’ that you cannot do endurance without animal protein. WRONG. Rich and others are now demonstrating that this is a fallacy. The availability of the many foods at places like Sprouts and Whole Foods (and increasingly at many of the major grocery chains) as well as buying bulk online has made many more foods that contain the ‘missing’ ingredients necessary to maintain a vegan diet and remain an athlete. This is a journey I am looking forward to traveling and I welcome anyone who is willing to take the plunge and join me. I am excited at the prospect of feeling better and performing better than I ever have.
Insane? Yep. 🙂