Stomp of Approval!!!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sub 180!!!!!

Finally there! 179.9 this morning!!!


I started the Makers Diet on January 7th at 203.6 pounds. And as of today, March 26th, I have lost 23.7 pounds. Almost 1/8th of my body weight in just 78 days.

I could have lost it a little faster, but there were a few hiccups on the way. Going to Las Vegas set me back about 2 weeks or so. Plus there have been a few cheat meals / weekends here and there. I imagine that if I were to have never cheated on the diet then I could have possibly seen sub 180 as early as 55~60 days. But there's no way to know for sure really.

I'm not done yet though. I still have 9.9 pounds to loose to hit my goal of 169.9. By the math I'm averaging a .304 pounds lost per day. Based off that I have about 32 days until I'm at my goal weight.

That puts me under 170 around April 27th, which is the day after I plan on running all night at the Relay For Life cancer walk.

I think another 10 pounds down will make running even easier than it already is! Especially in the heat that's on the way...

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Pre-long run preparations.

The human body amazes me. Well, at least mine does. I'm not sure if everyone (or even anyone) else does this, but I try to follow a routine before every long run.

I drink a bottle of water (maybe?) and get all my stuff ready and put into a ziplock Baggie that then gets put inside my SPI Belt (which is awesome!) Of course I get dressed after my morning weigh in (down to 180.5 this morning! Oh hells yeah!) and usually take the trash out to the trash can on my way to the truck.

There's no ritualistic "lacing of the shoes" or picking out lucky socks or anything like that. But there is one little "unique" thing I do...


My body realizes that its about to be moving for the next 3 to 5 hours, and knows that any waste sitting in my bowels will be one a burden very quickly. This is an even bigger issue when its coupled with no accessible bathrooms, and nothing to wipe with if I'm able to sneak off into the woods.

So what does my body do?

It poops. And it poops a lot.

I didn't do at binge eating or drinking last night. Everything was quite normal actually. But for some reason, every morning before a long run, it feels like I'm loosing 10 pounds. This makes the runs oh so much more enjoyable because there isn't any GI issues from the start.

It also amazes me just how much better a good poop can make you feel. Something about evacuating toxins and waste from your system helps to energize and revitalize the body!

In summary, pooping is great, as long as your not pooping in your pants. That's not so great. In fact, that's pretty shitty.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Up coming races / events

The end of April might end up being a pretty busy time for me race wise.

April 20th is the Village Creek 5K. This is my hometowns only race and I've ran it once in my adult hood and took 1st in age group, 6th overall with a 20:41 or somewhere around there. I think I could do a little better than that this year as I will be a good bit lighter than I was 2 years ago and my running feels much stronger. Last years winning time was a 17:35, I know I'm not that fast. Second place was a 19:48, that's a maybe. If both of those guys show up I think I could grab third.

The best thing about the race this year is that its at a new location, running down my favorite road, FM421!!!!! So ill be able to run it barefoot with no problems whatsoever!!! Hell, I'm thinking about running a 20 miler barefoot on the same road this weekend!

April 26th will bring the Relay For Life to our neighboring town (Silsbee) at their high school track. I ran this event last year and had to drop out at 14 miles due to GI issues. I made the mistake of gorging my fat ass on some very good Italian food then going running immediately afterwards. After my 4th trip to the shitter I threw in the towel.

I know I won't eat Italian food before the race this year, so hopefully there won't be any snags! Not sure what kind of mileage I will be shooting for. I plan on running until I have to stop. If I could get in at least a 50K I'll be happy!

So looks like I will have some good opportunities to test myself on both ends of the spectrum this month! Speed (with no speed work...) and endurance!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Never Wipe Your Ass With A Squirrel - book review

Based off the name of the book and the author, I knew this book was right up my alley!!!

"Never Wipe Your Ass With A Squirrel - A Trail and Ultra Marathon Guide for Weird Folks" by Jason Robillard is a basics and essentials guide to running trails and ultra marathons for.. Well... For weird folks....

I think I was his target audience.

All joking aside (for at least a sentence or two) this was a great read that was chock full of useful information on all things trail running. Jason even goes into the realm of "taboo" by discussing such topics as "genital hair maintenance", proper technique for pooping in the woods, ass chaffing and even how to get rid of annoying running partners.

There were several times during my read that I would literally start laughing out loud. Of course my wife wouldn't find these excerpts nearly as humorous as I did, but I'm a little twisted off upstairs, so my sense of humor is a little warped to begin with...

What's most interesting about this book is that its only available in E-book format. Jason released it this way so that it would follow what he deems as a "STD distribution" method. By that he means that it starts with him and trickles down to a few other people. Those people then spread it to a few more people, who in turn spread it out even further. Sort of like a pyramid scheme for herpes. If everyone can distribute to at least 3 people it will spread faster than the Aids did back in the 80's!

SO, as a result, if you are interested in this amazingly awesome book that is guaranteed* to make you a better runner, a stud in bed and just an all around bad ass just let me know that your interested and I will email you a copy!

(*guarantee not honored)

It's as simple as that! No strings attached! The book is a PDF document that was emailed directly to me from Mr. Robillard himself! So I can vouch for its authenticity.

Now the nitty gritty. I know I haven't done a book review in quite awhile, and this is quite unprecedented (and slightly unexpected knowing the author...!) but this is the first book to ever receive a full 10 out of 10 rating based off the highly complex and complicated "Chaser Williams Book Rating Method".

Hope you read it and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My take on training

I've been reading "Relentless Forward Progress" by Byron Powell for the last few days, and it goes into depth on different training programs and what you should ideally run every day for the next X amount if weeks to run a certain distance. It's got several of these training programs for various race distance goals, and weekly mileage goals.

Looking over these I get overwhelmed. I obviously don't train via any "program" or anything like that. I do use the Maffetone Method, but it does not dictate how often, or how far, I can run.

To me, training should be fun and enjoyable. Once you put it down on paper in a strict regimen with limits and expectations, well... That sounds a lot like work to me. And I don't want work and running intertwined (unless I start getting paid to run!)

So here's my thoughts on a good "training program" that I guess I attempt to follow...

Phase 1; Base Building.

In this phase you aren't concerned with speed or timed PR's, instead your just building up a good solid base of running. The goal is to add more and more miles on your feet and feel comfortable running for multiple hours on end.

Basically a bunch of long slow runs. This isn't to say you can't do some speed drills or run fast, but that this should t be your priority. Running fast is fun! Do it! But I think that building a good aerobic base is the key element to a successful and long term running career.

Phase 2; speed work.

After you've successfully built a good sold base of long slow miles its then time to start working on speed. At this point running for 6 to 8 hours straight should be a walk in the park! So now you need to increase the amount of ground covered in those 6 to 8 hours by being able to run at an increased speed. Don't stop running long slow runs, just don't run as many and start mixing in some faster runs and speed workouts.

Phase 3; races! (Optional)

Now that you can run for hours on end, and you can run them somewhat quickly, its time to put yourself to the test! Get out there, strap a race number to your ass and burn up the trails!

Phase 4; REPEAT!

Since you can run faster, start back with the longer runs at the increased speed until it becomes easy, then go longer! After that, start running faster and then maybe go win a few races!

Friday, March 8, 2013


I wonder why I have difficulty loosing weight and keeping it off.

When we started the Makers Diet I was doing great and lost weight faster than a kid with a stuttering problem looses a spelling B and things were going great!

Then we went to Vegas and had a cheat weekend. Since then I haven't been able to kick the junk food habit and whip myself back into shape. My weight has been hovering around 183~189 since Vegas, and its because I keep eating poorly.

I'm not eating poor at every meal, I just frequently eat things I should t be eating between meals although I'm not hungry and I know I shouldn't be eating them.

Cake, the kids M&M's, candy, sweets, ect.... I know these are bad for me, but its like I'm addicted! I kicked the habit when we started the diet and went completely cold turkey after a binge weekend of ice cream and cookies galore and didn't really touch the sweets till Vegas. Now I can't put them back down although their making me feel like shit and preventing me from loosing any significant amount of weight anymore.

So, since I'm obviously addicted to carbs, here is my confession.


After all, admittance is the first step on the road to recovery, right?

Here's a picture of what spawned this post. Yes, it's a maple syrup flavored donut coated with bacon. No, I didn't eat one.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Herman Memorial Half Marathon; Post Race Thoughts

With minimal training, and only one "tempo run" session I managed to pull out my second fastest half marathon to date.

What could I do if I actually trained for a half marathon? Since I'm about 5~10 pounds lighter than I was at this race 2 years ago, I feel that made a big difference. I was still 8 minutes slower than 2 years prior, but I was also far less trained.

I think my surprise result was due to a few things.

First off is the Maffetone Method. I've trained my body to burn fuel more efficiently. So while I was running in an anaerobic state, my body was doing so more efficiently than I was 2 years ago when all my runs were at a faster pace and harder effort. Running slow has seemingly made me faster.

The Makers Diet. Being healthier and lighter on my feet makes it much easier to run. My blood was flowing better due to lower cholesterol, and I had no GI issues because I ran fasted. Granted I had spent the last week or so eating very poorly (Viva Las Vegas!) I still had the 2 mo the prior of consistently eating the way that a human being is supposed to eat working for me

Starting slow and going for a negative split. This was AMAZING!!! I usually go out fast and try to hold my pace until I finish, and if I can kick it up a little at the end I do. This time around I went out conservatively for the first 8 miles, then started turning up the heat from there. I was actually running a few seconds faster per mile for the first 8 then I had initially planned, and the last 5 were surprisingly easy, and increasing my pace was very even and seemingly effortless. My last 2 miles were something like a 7:35 and 7:07, with the last .18 miles coming in at a 5:25 pace. I ended up with around a 6 minute negative split! That's awesome!

Good flowing form. Since I started out easy, my body wasn't tensed up and I wasn't trying to ouch myself out of my comfort zone. By doing this I was running relaxed and loose. There wasn't any associated stiffness or tiredness on my shoulders or arms. My legs didn't feel like they were pounding the pavement, and I was running very silently. Since I wasn't working very hard I was able to maintain breathing through my nose for the majority of the race. Everything felt great, and my steady increase in speed never felt like a real surge, just a steady increase in speed and turn over. Towards the last mile or so I felt like I could have just taken off in a full sprint and been ok because I wasn't feeling any muscular fatigue from the previous 12 miles. I feel like I might have held back too much if anything.

So what could I I prove upon to get better results next time?

Well, I'm not happy with my PR of 1:42, and I didn't improve that this race, so everything wasn't perfect.

Week before lead up to the race. I ate like shit. If I had eaten cleaner and healthier then I feel like I could have gone a little faster. The night before I had a steak with fried onions and jalapeƱos. And while I was delicious, it wasn't the best thing to sit on my stomach over night. While I never had any real GI issues, my stomach never felt "great" and I think it was because of the greasy fried foods I had consumed the night before.

Training. My 2 longest runs leading up to the race were 13.1 miles and 17.XX miles, so long runs weren't an issue. It was my total lack of speed work. I had one run that was 5 miles at a 8:00 avg pace. That was a tough work out, but it was it wasn't really speed work. My legs just weren't used to having to turn over so fast. The reason I lacked any speed work is... Well... I'm honestly more concerned with being able to run 100 miles in under 24 hours than I am with running a new PR in a half marathon. But could I train to do both...?

Weight loss / diet deviations. I managed to get my weight down to 180.3 before we went to Vegas, the Week before the race I had weighed in as high as 190.1. That's 10 pounds heavier than I had been the week before. If I had went into the race at 180, or even sub 180, I could have shaved off a little more time. It's really amazing how a few pounds can effect your running so much!

So, with all this said, I'm still very happy with my performance, and I really impressed myself by coming in about 7 minutes per mile while still feeling so fresh and relaxed the whole time.

BUT! I still want to run a sub 1:25 at some point, and while it isn't a top priority right now, I know plenty of ultra marathoners that can go from a sub 24 100 mile trail race to a sub 1:30 half marathon within a month or 2 of each other (depending on which is ran first), so why can't I? Why not add in a few faster runs and some tempo runs in the mix with my long slow runs?

Ill try it and see what happens! Who knows, maybe I can go sub 1:40 at my next half marathon!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Herman Memorial Half Marathon; The Result..!

Well, I had a goal to go faster than a 1:57:00, and I did!

The start of the race was COLD!!! It was mid to upper 30's, and somewhat humid. Great running weather once we started, but standing at the starting line was brutal!!!

I ran at just under a 8:55 pace for miles 1-7, mile 8 was a little quicker. Mile 9 I started picking it up, but I don't know where to. I was running with an older lady by the name of Lisa, her goal was sub 1:55 and she said we had it in the bag, maybe even sub 1:50! So I decided to go for it.

The last 2 miles felt great! I was really cruising along and passing people left and right. With half a mile to go I came across fellow minimalist runner Jeremy Furmo and got him to finish up strong with me. His brother William was also there, but he was a good ways ahead of us at a 1:46.

It was a great run, everything felt very smooth and easy. Forcing myself to slow it down at the beginning made a huge difference. I feel like I could go out and do it all over again right now, and its only been 30 minutes or so since I finished!

My unofficial time on my Garmin is a 1:50:39, I'm waiting to see when they post up the official results to see what they say, I think they might be a few seconds faster, but not much if any.

So, I guess this proves that I am in better running shape then I was when I ran my first (and second!) half marathons! Thank you Maffetone Method and Makers Diet!

Pictures below are of the nice race shirt, awesome medal, bib shirt and medal together, and the group shot is of me, the Fermo brothers, and some other guy that they knew that I didn't know him the one in all black with the Barefoot Running University shirt on, aka the ugly one. Lol!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Herman Memorial Sugarland Half Marathon; The Prelude...

Tomorrow morning I have my first race since Rocky Raccoon.

It's been over a year since I last raced, and I don't even know if I could count Rocky Raccoon as a real "race" since I wasn't pushing my self to run any quicker, just longer.

My last half marathon was the hottest half back in August of 2011. So it's been a year a half since my last half marathon, and that race was horrendous... My last good half was actually 2 years ago at this exact race, the Herman Memorial Sugarland Half Marathon, where I ran a 1:42.

I'm about 99% sure I won't be able to PR here this year. I've only been training again for the past 2 moths due to work, so there's no way I'm in anywhere near as good of shape as I was then. But I wonder how I compare now to where I was at my first half marathon at the Livestrong Half Marathon in Austin back in February of 2011? I ran a 1:57 there on a very hilly course with lots of crowd congestion after 5 and a half months of training. But then I was starting from scratch, now I have a decent base of miles but a 6 month gap of little to no running....

Since resuming my training I have ran a 17 mile long run, a 13.1 mile long run, and several runs in the 6~8 mile range. I even ran a nice and easy 8 mile run on Thursday.

My goal going into the race is to keep a 8:50~9:00 pace for the first 8 miles. That will give me a 1:10:40 to 1:12:00 for the first 8 miles leaving me roughly 48 minutes to complete the last 5 miles. At this point I plan on evaluating how I'm feeling and either picking up the pace, or staying steady at this pace.

The goal is to break 2 hours. Ideally break 1:57. But we'll see what happens!

Random update. Halfway through the last sentence my wife and I witnessed a single vehicle wreck just after it had happened. A man (drunk, very drunk) managed to leave the road, and the ground, in his Ford Ranger and stay that way for about 60 feet until he was abruptly stopped by a tree and brought back down to the ground... Upside down. There had to be several hundred beer cans strewn throughout the area, along with a lot of very nice tools. The guy was still alive and pinned in the truck by his seat belt. Lesson learned, drinking and driving isn't smart... But I already knew that.