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Ultra accountability

Hey all - been awhile since I posted, but happy to be back.

So what’s new?  I’m gearing up for the  North Face 50 Mile Ultramarathon Challenge on December 1st in SF.  

It’s 18 miles longer than my previous longest race (or longest run for that matter).

To keep myself on track, I’ve put together a Google spreadsheet to track my training milestones.  It’s based on the book Relentless Forward Progress by Bryon Powell.

To keep myself honest, I’m sharing it out.

Comments as always welcome.

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Green Light

Yesterday I went out for a run in my favorite local venue, Mount Tam.  

On this particular day, it was a bit of a struggle to think about getting my ass over there as I climbed out of bed.  

This being the Sunday morning of a long weekend, the night before had been a little indulgent.  Let’s review:

  • Expansive dinner with a group of friends
  • Three (or was it four?) generously-poured Manhattans
  • A late-night carnitas burrito stop in the Mission with all the trimmings

So, I was not exactly feeling spry upon waking.  But after breakfast, downing a large cup of Peets and watching the Knicks take out Dallas for an inspirational bout of Linsanity, I drove to my starting point and clocked in.

I felt good.

Really good.

Light, quick, and plenty of gas in the tank.  

Better than I normally feel on a day when I’ve gotten plenty of rest, let alone having gone somewhat large the night before. 

When I finished, I realized that I had just produced one of the best average paces I’ve ever had on Tam.  

What the hell?  I was hungover, I’m about ten pounds over my fighting weight, and have not been running a ton.  I had no business feeling this good.

The ONLY thing I’ve done differently, and just in the last few days, is have 1-2 green smoothies a day consisting of avocado, bananas, kale and strawberries, mixed with ice and water.

I had heard they were great, and bought a Vitamix (costing me a small fortune) because everyone that has one raves about it.  

I had noticed that I had more energy during the day since starting them, but I was nervous about drinking one before a run because I have a sensitive stomach pre-exercise.

But it was awesome - I had tons of energy, a feeling of general lightness, and no stomach issues whatsoever.  

Could it be a fluke?  100%.   Definitely don’t want to sound the miracle-cure infomercial alarm bells yet.

But I know I felt better than 90% of my usual outings, and I’m pretty sure there’s something to this.   I’m going to keep it up and see how things go (particularly when I can drop some of the holiday lbs.).

Now all I need is a recipe for a Green Manhattan.

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I’ve had several IPods, and they’ve all been varying degrees of awesome.  The latest Ipod Nano is a great companion for exercise - for me the right music can make the difference between a meh workout and an ass-kicking one.  
The latest Nano is super compact and light, and has a big built-in clip that attaches to your waistband or top.  It has a bright, touch-screen display, and comes in a bunch of different colors.  The headphone/mic combo lets you control volume and skip tracks with the in-line buttons, so you don’t have to look at the display to make changes.   
A nice add is the FM radio which is useful at times, like when you’re at the gym and you have to tune in to the radio to get the audio on the public TVs.  
The Nike+ integration is useful for tracking your runs.  And the battery life is excellent for its size - I generally only need to charge it every few days with regular use.
Even the base model with 8GB of storage is more than enough to keep hundreds of songs and dozens of audiobooks with you.  
If you’re really size-conscious, the Ipod Shuffle is another great option.  It has fewer features, but it’s cheaper and has plenty of storage.  

I’ve had several IPods, and they’ve all been varying degrees of awesome.  The latest Ipod Nano is a great companion for exercise - for me the right music can make the difference between a meh workout and an ass-kicking one.  

The latest Nano is super compact and light, and has a big built-in clip that attaches to your waistband or top.  It has a bright, touch-screen display, and comes in a bunch of different colors.  The headphone/mic combo lets you control volume and skip tracks with the in-line buttons, so you don’t have to look at the display to make changes.   

A nice add is the FM radio which is useful at times, like when you’re at the gym and you have to tune in to the radio to get the audio on the public TVs.  

The Nike+ integration is useful for tracking your runs.  And the battery life is excellent for its size - I generally only need to charge it every few days with regular use.

Even the base model with 8GB of storage is more than enough to keep hundreds of songs and dozens of audiobooks with you.  

If you’re really size-conscious, the Ipod Shuffle is another great option.  It has fewer features, but it’s cheaper and has plenty of storage.  

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I was really into energy gel a few years ago, but kind of burned out on them until I recently tried Gu Roctane.  With additional electrolytes and amino acids, I find that both pre- and mid-run they give me a great boost of energy.  I also like that they come in a variety of flavors and both caffeinated and non-caffeinated versions.  On multi-hour runs I usually alternate so I don’t over-caffienate which tends to upset my stomach.
These are more expensive than standard GU, but so far they seem to be worth it. 

I was really into energy gel a few years ago, but kind of burned out on them until I recently tried Gu Roctane.  With additional electrolytes and amino acids, I find that both pre- and mid-run they give me a great boost of energy.  I also like that they come in a variety of flavors and both caffeinated and non-caffeinated versions.  On multi-hour runs I usually alternate so I don’t over-caffienate which tends to upset my stomach.

These are more expensive than standard GU, but so far they seem to be worth it. 

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I usually hate running with anything on my back, but Nathan changed my tune with their model HPL 020.  It’s super light and fits just right on the upper part of your back.  The material breathes well and even on hot days is comfortable.  They’ve placed both elastic and zip-up storage pockets on the front straps perfectly suited for quick access to an energy bar/gels on one side and a GPS or smartphone on the other.  
Comes with a huge 2 liter bladder for hydration, and the bite valve shuts off to prevent leakage while transporting.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had an issue with normal valves that don’t have this mechanism leaking, so I really appreciate this feature.
You can easily fit a windbreaker, hat and gloves in the main compartment even with the bladder full.
For long runs that don’t have food/water stops, Nathan has created a winner.

I usually hate running with anything on my back, but Nathan changed my tune with their model HPL 020.  It’s super light and fits just right on the upper part of your back.  The material breathes well and even on hot days is comfortable.  They’ve placed both elastic and zip-up storage pockets on the front straps perfectly suited for quick access to an energy bar/gels on one side and a GPS or smartphone on the other.  

Comes with a huge 2 liter bladder for hydration, and the bite valve shuts off to prevent leakage while transporting.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had an issue with normal valves that don’t have this mechanism leaking, so I really appreciate this feature.

You can easily fit a windbreaker, hat and gloves in the main compartment even with the bladder full.

For long runs that don’t have food/water stops, Nathan has created a winner.

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Garmin 910XT.  Ultimate run/bike/tri watch.  Data geek’s top of the line (for now).

Garmin 910XT.  Ultimate run/bike/tri watch.  Data geek’s top of the line (for now).

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Trail version of the Altra Instinct. These are amazing and unlike some minamalist shoes, they have the cushion needed for rocky terrain yet keep the barefoot ethos. You feel like you spring uphill on these.

Trail version of the Altra Instinct. These are amazing and unlike some minamalist shoes, they have the cushion needed for rocky terrain yet keep the barefoot ethos. You feel like you spring uphill on these.

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Altra Instinct “Zero Drop” road shoes. These have the benefits/geometry of barefoot running but have some cushion so you don’t kill your feet on long runs. 
Huge toe box lets your toes stretch out without the fugly toe shoe look. Probably the best, most comfortable running shoes I’ve owned. Caveat - MUST get used to them before long runs or your calves will never forgive you.

Altra Instinct “Zero Drop” road shoes. These have the benefits/geometry of barefoot running but have some cushion so you don’t kill your feet on long runs.

Huge toe box lets your toes stretch out without the fugly toe shoe look. Probably the best, most comfortable running shoes I’ve owned. Caveat - MUST get used to them before long runs or your calves will never forgive you.

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If you’ve ever run and sweat (or gotten rain) in your standard IPhone headset mic, you know that Voice Control goes haywire and you can’t shut it off. 
Yurbuds resist all manner of elements, have great sound, a tight fit that won’t allow the buds to come out even when jarrred, good controls for volume and pause, and are water/sweat proof. Ran a 50K wearing them and my ears were like new afterwards - no discomfort after hours of use.

If you’ve ever run and sweat (or gotten rain) in your standard IPhone headset mic, you know that Voice Control goes haywire and you can’t shut it off.

Yurbuds resist all manner of elements, have great sound, a tight fit that won’t allow the buds to come out even when jarrred, good controls for volume and pause, and are water/sweat proof. Ran a 50K wearing them and my ears were like new afterwards - no discomfort after hours of use.

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Icebreaker socks (well, Icebreaker everything) are game-changers.  No hyperbole here - the soft merino wool will change your running life.
Super breathable, warm, wicking, odor-free even after multiple wears, quick-drying and excellent padding that isn’t over-bearing. I consider these indispensable for any distance runs and life-altering for long camp-outs. 
Started wearing them with casual shoes on business trips. And coming out of NZ where there are twice as many sheep as humans, you don’t have to worry about buying as much as your heart desires - I’m all in.

Icebreaker socks (well, Icebreaker everything) are game-changers.  No hyperbole here - the soft merino wool will change your running life.

Super breathable, warm, wicking, odor-free even after multiple wears, quick-drying and excellent padding that isn’t over-bearing. I consider these indispensable for any distance runs and life-altering for long camp-outs.

Started wearing them with casual shoes on business trips. And coming out of NZ where there are twice as many sheep as humans, you don’t have to worry about buying as much as your heart desires - I’m all in.