Saturday, September 14, 2019


It was a beautiful Saturday night at the Sewanee track, even more beautiful for the solitude.. football team is away and no sports teams practicing.  Warm, upper 70ºs and humid, calm winds.  It was like a home coming, a comfortable place to be alone on Saturday night, like many such Saturday's I've spent.  The sun sets increasingly early, now before 7PM.  It's dark before 7:30 and each day is rapidly getting shorter.  It's been an extremely warm and dry Sept.  Although no significant rain in 3 weeks, and none forecast, I saw beautiful thunderhead clouds with lightning in them in the distance.

So, down to business.  Short warmup.  Volume foundation.

Hoka trainers on 
300m warmup, stretches, drills 
2 x 800m - 2:46, 2:51
My first set of 800s since the surgery in January.   Felt ok but hard.   In June '18, I was doing 2x800m workouts in 2:31, 2:35 and 2:38, 2:42... so I've got a ways to go.    In an ideal world, I'll keep increasing this foundation into the fall.  I'm now on 4 days rest, moving my workout up since I have a major biking climb tomorrow evening with Bill M. at Raccoon Mtn.  I am significantly heavier today, after a huge dinner last night of an exceptionally fine seafood chowder, I ballooned up to 149 lbs this morning.  Was 146.6 lbs after workout. 

I've been having a recurrence of some physical issues.  Most distressing is my carpal tunnel and related nerve pain in my left hand / arm has interrupted my sleep.  Going to try and clean up my diet, eat less, drink more water, and give up coffee for a while, see if it helps.  Also, my L heal pain has been coming back, not full fledged plantar fasciitis, but enough to remind me to wear my insert.   Was thinking about buying  pair of max padded Hoka Bondi 6s a half size big, just for walking and every day.

The damn Chinese company that I ordered my Clifton 1s from sent me a freakin' Gucchi belt instead.  What a screw up.  I some how doubt they'll come through with the shoes and I'll end up getting ripped off.  Hard to hold them accountable. 

If I'm able, I'll be doing 800s for the next few weeks, next time out, on Friday.  I may then try Friday and Monday track schedule.  Teammate John C. did a 6 x 800m workout yesterday... kind of like I used to, especially during my 5k days.   If I could tolerate it, I'd run cross country and 5ks, but can't.  I learned from the Bill Collins book years ago the importance of off season foundation stuff like this. 

Since my last track workout, I've done 2 stairmaster sessions and some weights. 

Saturday night on the track....

Monday, September 9, 2019

split 500

Hot and dry in Sewanee today, if fact ... one of the hottest days this decade.  97º F. at my house, but by sunset, cooling rapidly to upper 70ºs.   I ran faster and less tonight. 
Hoka trainers on 
300m warmup, stretches, drills 
'split 500' - 300m - 45 / 90 sec rest / 200m - 30.5
Not a bad workout, quick and done.  A little too brief.  I was going to do more but I ran into the former college track coach and we talked til dark.

For perspective, I was doing this same set in '17 at 42.5 / 29 with only 60 sec rest.  What I did tonight would be typical times of a workout where I did a previous set.  Overall, it puts me in OK shape for this point of the season.  Knees felt fine, foot hurt a little as usual.

I'm hoping in 3 weeks or so to see if I can tolerate 2 running days a week, probably Mon and Fri.  Might do one set on the hill.    5+ weeks to the Chattanooga meet. 

Weight is nominal, not super thin but averaging 144 lbs.  Eating a little more lately.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Weekly track session, 'sports camp life'

I think this is going to be my regime for the next few to several weeks.  One track session a week and a lot of biking, swimming, water running, and resistance work.   I've swam a quarter mile a day almost every day this weekend and mixed in some water running, biked up the mountain, and did strength work.

This week has been a typical 'sports camp' life.  I can generally workout every day except Wed and Thurs, my heavier teaching days.  It's possible to get a late weight workout in on Thurs night and an early one on Wed., but not easy.

I've been really pushing my upper body strength.  Can do 20 pullups again, and am pushing heavier weight than I have been previously.  I'm pushing 120 lbs 10X on the 'peck deck' and rowing 170 lbs 10x on the machine.  Thanks to Al's suggestion, I've started doing inverted squats with hanging boots. Starting from a straight hang up to a flexed squat with a situp, then down slow.  It's really challenging, I can only do 10X now.   Really good for core and quads... and a good non weight bearing knee joint strengthener.  Even though I'm quite light, 143ish, I think I'm not all that lean, maybe 12-13% body fat +/- 1%.  I think I'll start eating more protein as I need to begin a more aggressive building phase.

Just as I think I'm getting in pretty good shape... I run a 600m.  lol
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
600m - 1:53  
3 min rest 
200m - 32 
100m acceleration from standing start
I was going to do a 600 - 3 min rest - 300... but I bailed after 200m.  Just not there yet.  I think I might have been able to gut out a 50 or 51 300m after the 600m, but just not that mentally tough yet.   I'm a long way from workouts like those epic 600, 600, 400, 400 w/3 min rest and then some...   I really do hate such painful foundation workouts.  Not ready for any serious volume yet.  May not be til mid winter.  I tried accelerating from a 3 point stance.  Definitely a stresser on the knee, so I won't be coming out of blocks anytime soon.  But, it's just under 6 weeks from that District meet where I'm planning to put the spikes on.   My knee and feet seem to tolerate one track workout a week ok.  There is sure a lot of crepitus noise in my knees when extending from full flex.  Fortunately, no swelling.

Those Clifton 1s I ordered last week seem to be coming from China.  I hope they're authentic and not some knock offs.  You never know where stuff is coming from when you order on some of these obscure websites.

Anyway, it's been a great weekend of activities.  I must have swam across this lake 50 times this summer; and this weekend was one of the hottest of the summer.  Upper 80ºs F. here on the mountain, upper 90ºs everywhere else.   I'm really in shape... except for running.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Toronto 2020 schedule released ... highly irregular

I don't know what it is about Doug Shaggy Smith.   He claims the Toronto 2020 scheduling was done by WMA and and not him.  Last time I ran in a meet he organized, the NCCWMA Toronto in '17, the schedule was terrible.   That is terrible for a 400/200 double.  At the time, I was reigning world champion in the indoor M55 200m.   But, in that meet, they scheduled the 200m semis just 70 min after the 400m final.  So, I had to run against a 100/200 guy who was running his first race of the day, just after I won the 400m.  I could only muster a 25.5, and that, (with the help of some lying seed times resulting in stupid heat assignments), put me out of the final by a few tenths.

The first published schedule for the Toronto World Championships came out today and in my opinion, it's a disaster for anyone who wants to double in the 200/400.   It strongly favors 100/200 and 400/800 doublers, but the big snafu is that they are running all 3 round of 3 sprint events in 6 days.... and not one sprint event in any of the first four days.  It's crazy ... and completely different from all of the world meets I've attended in Lyon, Perth, Daegu, and Malaga.   All those meets have run all three rounds of the 200, then all three rounds of the 400.  In Toronto, the 200 and 400 overlap and all 3 rounds are run in 4 days.  WHY? WHY? WHY?

Here it is:
Monday July 27th - 400m prelim
Tuesday July 28th - 200m prelims AND semis
Wednesday July 29th - off
Thursday July 30th - 200m final AND 400m semi
Friday July 31 - 400m final

Here's the difference:
- If you're a 400/800 guy, (like a lot of the elite in my age group), you have TWO FULL DAYS REST between the 400m prelims and semis.
- If your a 200/400 guy, you have ALL THREE ROUNDS of the 200m between the 400m prelims and semis, including the 200m final before the 400m semi.  
People on the Facebook post are really expressing a lot of consternation already.  It's an 11 day meet, there is ZERO reason this schedule should stand as it is.  Let's hope this guy Shaggy is reasonable and doesn't dig his heels in on this.  All he has to do is simply use previous WMAC meets as a template for Toronto '20. 

This is the way it should be for the mens sprints/ 800m:
Mon 20 - 800m prelims
Tues 21 - 100m prelims and semis, 800m semis
Wed 22 - 100m final
Thurs 23 - 200m prelim, 800 finals
Fri 24 - off
Sat 25 - 200m final
Sun 26 - off
Mon 27 - 400m prelims
Tues 28 - 400m semis
Wed 29 - off
Thurs 30 - 400m final 
There would be far less people doubling in the 200/800 than 200/400 and 400/800. 

First foundation work

I call 'foundation' anything longer than a 400m.  Usually 600s, 800s.  Today, I did my first 600m.   Not trying to run it fast, just nominal.  Then finished with a hard 200m.

Looking back, I had done several workouts with 600m repeats.  Today, one was enough.  Low 70ºs, moist and humid, wet track in Sewanee.
Hoka Clifton 3s on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
600m - 1:54  
Hoka Clifton 1s on 
200m - 27.34

It was also the fastest 200m I've run since injury, although with a running start and not yet attempting full speed.

It looks like it may be a long while before my next track workout.  I might be able to squeeze one in a week from today but if not, it'll be 10 days from now, a week from Friday.   Work is starting up again.  I wouldn't say my knee is 100% yet.   Last night I went to the gym and did upper body and 2 sets of slow squats to 90º with light weight (30lbs) on the left leg.   It was a good enough workout that I was feeling sore in my glutes today.   I could not have done this workout 3 days ago.  I do need a full week in between track workouts still.

There's a chance I might run stadium stairs on Thurs.  We'll see how it feels then.

I bought yet another pair of Clifton 1s ... the only place in the universe that still has them in my size... and only $72.  I seriously doubt they'll reissue them again as they did this yr.   Unfortunately, they only had the ugly yellow-green soled ones available.  It's ok.   Now I have 2 new pair and one lightly used.  I plan to use them sparingly.  I even have a coveted new pair of Clifton 3s still in the box.

Light and fit... 143.5 lbs after workout.  I've been eating very lean lately.   I must admit, I have an additional reason.  A local prominent artist is using my body as a model for a sculpture in his gallery. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Hiking and a few long sprints

Spent the weekend hiking in the GSMNP, doing a 9 mile hike with a 2500' climb was harder than it used to be.

When I returned to the track a few days later, I wasn't completely recovered from the 15 or so miles I hiked on Sat - Mon.  I was a little gun shy of running really hard yesterday because last year after this same hiking trip is when I injured my knee, although I don't know if there was a connection.

But it went ok.   Warm and still at the Sewanee track, about 79º at sunset.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
300m (from the 400m start) - 44.5  (14,14.5,16) 
200m -27.95
The 300m was a 400m bailout.  I was going to run a 400m but bailed after realizing I'm not in shape yet.  The reason I thought about trying a 400m is because I didn't really want to do a tempo workout.

But... this type of workout is getting me no where.  There are 2 things that are going to improve my 400 speed: 1) regaining my top end speed ... which is too soon to do; and 2) regaining speed endurance by a) more long sprint foundation volume (600-800s) and b) tempo workouts (80% 200s and 300s with limited rest).

I am fit though, weighing now less than 145 lbs on average.  I was 143.3 lbs after workout yesterday.  My resting pulse is in the 50s and my blood pressure a nominal 120/70, despite a high caffeine consumption. But still very disappointed that it is so much effort to run a 44 sec 300m, and a 27 high 200.  In order to run fast 200s and 400s, I need to have my top end speed and speed endurance back, where I can cruise a 26.5 200m without too much effort.  Right now, I'd be hard pressed to run that fast all out.

I need patience.  It'll come.  But after the way I felt after these 90% sprints and how slow they were, I wonder if I have the mental toughness and the mileage left in my body to get back to elite.  It's going to be really painful.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

cross training

Past 2 days I've done weights, swam, and Tues. - 20 min Stairmaster, and Wed. - biked up Roark's Cove Rd.   I'm hovering around a mean weight of 145.5 but fluctuating.  It used to be a rare and difficult thing to climb the mountain on Roark's Cove Rd. on the bike, but I do it a few times a week now.  My best is about 22:30 min, but not that fast today.

I've found what I think I need more of to rehab my knee:  negative squats to 90º.   Everything I've been doing like biking and stairmaster has lacked 'a negative squat'  ... the kind of work you'd get when walking slowly and controlled down stairs.  I've discovered this is what I need to do more of, or fast squats with slow and extra negatives.

I think some hiking will help but I do remember, hiking the from Eagle Creek to Shuckstack in the Smokies last year was the last real strenuous thing I did before injuring my knee.  Maybe we won't do that hike this weekend when we go.

Seems like it's harder to shed fat.  I need to replace the fat I eat with vegetables.  Last few days I've eaten basically cherries, grilled chicken, nuts, and chocolate.   Just haven't been to the store and I'm essentially eating one meal a day, with a few snacks and coffee.

Looking forward to visiting the Great Smoky Mtn Nat'l Park by boat.

Monday, August 12, 2019

split 400

Hot day in Atlanta, was at the Marist track with my friends Roya and Dean.  Sunny, light winds, felt like 90º or so at 6:30pm.

Still not ready to run a 400m.
Hoka trainers on 
350m warmup, stretches, drills 
'split 400m' - 44 /  rest 1 min / 100m - 15.5 
100m - 13.46
It was really hard.  I think the 300m was more like 43.8, although not timed precisely.  The way I was feeling at the end of the 300m, I'd be hard pressed to finish a 400m in any less than 18 for the last 100.  Even if it were 19, still would be a 63ish 400m.

The only way I know how to improve is to slow down a bit and add more volume.  Eventually, 4x200m w/1 min rest, and 4x300m with 2 min rest.  Long way away from being able to do that.  Next should be 3x200m w 1 min.

Didn't take 6 days rest, went on 5 days again and it felt ok, and this weekend planning some hiking so no track for 7 or 8 days at least.

Been really trying to strengthen the upper body and definitely getting stronger.  I swam a little today but it was pretty much a day off.  I'll say it again for the hundredth time, I may be in decent shape, but not in 400m running shape.

Tomorrow is expected to be one of the hottest days of the yr, so I'll definitely swim, do weights and maybe bike.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Not ready to run a 400 yet

I thought about running my first 400m today, but the warmup and the first few sprints didn't feel as good as last time, so I opted for a 300m and some 100s.   My foot and knee hurt slightly in warmups, as usual, but improved after a few 100s.  However, due my my shape and the heat, my 100s felt more difficult than they should have, which made me conclude that I'm not ready for a 400m.

Hot day, light breeze, 85º with a heat index near 90º. 

Hoka trainers on
 300m warmup, stretches, drills
50m strider 
2 x 100m on the turn from the 400m start - 14.40, 13.89 
300m - 44.20  / 2 min rest / 100m - 13.96
I set my goal of 43 for the 300m and fell short.  I wanted to run 14,14,15.  But I ran about 14.2/14.5/15.5.   Perhaps I need to go back to 6 days in between track workouts and take the day off before the workout.   Maybe run some hills.  I don't know.  But I still think 60 flat or better is attainable by the Oct. 20th district meet, still 11 weeks away.  I need to be patient.  In my present shape today,  I probably could have run at 62-63 400m.   Since I'm not going to compete this yr indoors, I have a LOT of time.  My form still feels clunky, my left quad tight, which I have to take extra time stretching and rolling, probably due to that hip flexor tear in '15.  I should probably do more form drills, back off to 70% and work on form.... do drills more than once a week during my track workout. 

As Alan T. said, volume is the enemy for the masters sprinter, but I'm going to have to get at least 1200m of work in if I'm ever going to run a fast 400, but not yet.  Maybe by late fall/winter.  600m total sprints today wasn't bad for this early.  The PT grid shows 30 weeks as a tentative time for 'full recovery' from the knee procedure I had.  I'm just past 28 weeks now and still doing PT, mostly just single leg squats.

My weight is good, 142.8 lbs after workout.  Would like to go lower.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Back on track for a short tempo set

First time on the track in a week.  I have been doing somewhat rigorous cross training, 2 major bike climbs on Sat and Sunday, and swimming on Monday. 

My first tiny tempo workout.... just a touch of pain, not the bad injury type of pain, but the good hard work pain... just a little.

I wanted to run a 400m today at 90% but I opted for 2 x 200m w/ 1 min rest, then a hard 100m.  It went well.  I'm getting there. 

Mid 70's and humid, wet track.  I saved my prized Clifton 1s for the actual intervals and warmed up in my Clifton 3s.
Hoka Clifton 3s on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
50m acceleration
Hoka Clifton 1s on 
2 x 200m w/ 1 min rest - 29.5, 29.5 
110m - 14.53
I was happy to get both 200s under 30 and there is no way I could have done 4x200m w/ 1m like I do when in 'running shape'.  I think maybe the next step would be 3 x 200m w/ 1m avg 31. 

Before I had full recovery, I launched into a 90% effort 100m... looked at my watch and was severely disappointed when I saw 14.53, but it was actually 110m... as I started from the hurdle start.  It was probably like a 13.3 100m. not bad for trainers and a wet track.

The extra time off from running made a difference.  The only thing is that it makes me want to come back sooner and do it again.  Probably need to wait til at least this weekend to run again.  I really think I could put the spikes on and run a 62 400m right now.   I won't rule out running in the October Chattanooga district meet.  That's a full 10 weeks away. 

Did a gym workout after the track focusing on hams, glutes, lats, and chest. 

Weight is ok, in the 144s after workout and I'm trying again to reduce.  The lighter I am, the less stress on my feet and knees. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2019


Climbed Roark's Cove Rd today on the bike and made a plan to bike the big climb at Raccoon Mtn on Sat with the usual suspects from Chattanooga.   I also did a one set weight workout at the rec center afterward.    I was happy to see, despite the large meals I ate in Atlanta, I didn't gain weight, was 144.4 after workout tonight.  I was going to wait til Sunday to hit the track again but may wait til Monday, or if I'm feelin' it, may try Friday.  I think it's good to have a day off of any leg related exercise the day before a track workout.  I don't know, will just have see how it feels on Sunday.

It's so early in the game and I have mixed feelings about track training.  On one hand, I miss it and want to get feeling 'normal' again and training as usual.   It takes a while to readjust to running and may even help the healing.  Or it could endanger the future training if I go too soon.   My competitive M60 window extends from July, '20 Nat'ls and Worlds, the following indoor season '21 Nationals at the Armory and World's in Edmonton.  Edmonton Indoor Worlds is the latest ever - April 6-12, '21.

So, from July '20 to April '21... that's a long 'season' and that's the window I'm shooting for.  I've always run well indoor and I really would like to peak at that Edmonton meet.  I have this 'pipe dream' that I can once again break 56 in the 400m indoor, but that's unlikely.  I've done it only 5 times (2x in Albuquerque, 2x in Birmingham, and in Korea).   If so, I'd be in M60 world record territory.  My 55.17 in Korea was probably an anomaly.  I did run 55.22 in '16.  The M60 indoor WR is 55.62 for the 400m.  But, that's the thing about track, anomalous performances count.  If I think I'm in anywhere near that shape, I'll travel to the fastest tracks and go for it.

A distance runner I met on line told me he never was able to get back to the elite level he was at before he had this same knee surgery.  However, he didn't have Dr. LaPrade and I think he started running too much too soon.  He's only in his 40's.  I think I'll send him an email and see what I can learn from his experiences.

I still have no idea whether my body will tolerate training for the long haul.  I should have a better idea in a few months.

Short quality workout

At the Marist track.  Summer heat has finally broken and it's cooler.  50ºs tonight in Sewanee.

I almost bailed on this workout, I think I'll take it to 4 days off between track workouts so I'm closer to 100%.   After warmup, didn't feel quite ready to do a track workout, but after a few strides, I did a little.  Went ok.

Hoka trainers on 
250m warmup, stretches, drills 
2 x 40m strides 
100m - 13.82 
200m - 28.78 
100m - 13.57

Definitely a long ways from 'running shape.'  After the 200m, I felt like I would after running a mid 60s 400m when in shape.  Originally wanted to do 2 x 200m with 1 min rest, but maybe next time.

Spoke to Alan and he said he fears his track career may be over because of his hamstring.  He also said "volume is the enemy as we age"... what we need is "quality and cross training." 

Was happy to be on the track with the "Birthday Girl"...

Friday, July 19, 2019

beginning track milestones

Today was the day for the track.  If it felt ok I was going to try my first 300m, and I did.  Went well.

I went out in the hot part of the day because I had plans in the early evening.  It was about 84º with a heat index in the 90ºs.    I brought my brand new Hoka Clifton 1s specifically for the occasion.   After warming up and running some short sprints, I put the Clifton 1s on for the 300m.
Hoka Clifton 3s on 
250m warmup, stretches, drills 
50m strider 
100m -  13.92 
Hoka Clifton 1s on 
300m - 46.5
Doesn't look like much of a workout but it was a milestone.  First time since the surgery under 14 sec in the 100m and first 300m in a time much faster than expected.  I was shooting for 48 and came out quite ahead of goal. 46.5 is about 63-64 400m pace, which is quite good for this early in the game. 

I wanted to do more, but I think that's what I can handle and walk away feeling good.  Both my foot and knee tolerated the workout well but may have hurt if I did more.  Really no more than 4-500m of sprints for now, and I'll take 3 days off in between track workouts, so I'll be back on maybe Tues. 

145 lbs after workout. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

not ready yet

Thought I might be ready to do a track workout yesterday but no.  During a warmup, my foot felt pretty achy so I did the warm up on the track, then went to the hill on Roark's Cove Rd to run a few.

Hoka Clifton 3 trainers on 
400m warmup stretches, drills 
4 x 100m hill sprints 19.5- 20.5

I could have run more but wanted to stop and preserve myself for a real workout maybe by Friday.  I usually run these 100m hills at about 18, so these were slower.   I went to the rec center afterward for a 1 set workout.

Today Tues, I've done some abs and pullups, I'll swim in the afternoon, and go to the weight room and bike afterward.  It's a sports camp.


Masters Nationals

I was happy to see Getulio win the M55 400m (54.85) and smash a WR in the 400mH (57.72).  He told me he was injured and not in shape.  LOL.... right.  Happy to see David win the 200m in a World Lead 24.37.   Both these guys ran faster than my M55 PRs. (55.17 / 24.48)

Sorry to see Ben go down in the M60 400m.  He was pretty bummed when we texted.  What a difference in age groups!  The M60 400 was won in 59, only one person under a minute; and Val won the 200 in 26.60 (despite seeding himself at 23.5).

Sunday, July 14, 2019

New lease on summer

I was scheduled to have hand surgery on Friday and I backed out at literally the last minute, I made the decision during the drive to the hospital.  My hand symptoms weren't bad enough to warrant surgery so I opted for some cortisone shots.  The hand feels ok and will likely improve in the coming days.  I was prepared to put away my boat, bike, and motorcycles for the month and possibly the summer.  I had read wide ranging personal accounts of the surgery from 'recovery in a few weeks' to 'never the same again.'   So, I'm fine and it has been a reminder to never take for granted what I have.  Saturday I expected to be in pain recovering, but instead, I was at the lake swimming, doing pushups, and enjoying life.  I swam a lot, about 3/4 mile. 

There will come a time when I can't do a pullup, when I can't run, when I can't use my boat, when I can't play guitar, when I can't bike, and possibly even when I can't walk...   to those who blow off such opportunities to do these things out of laziness when they can, it is sad and you will regret it... someday.  This was a lesson for me. 

So, I've been getting fairly 'buff' in my upper body, doing a lot more upper body work this week and yesterday.   Eating a bit more.   Saturday, I did not intend to run although I really wanted to.  The rec center was open late but was buzzing with activity with a major youth swim meet.  So I went to the track and did a warm up, some drills and 5 x 50m high knee fast turnover sprints on turf.  Then I went to the weight room and did upper body, and glutes.  I was the only person there as the place was really open later than scheduled.

I live a pretty solitary life as my close friends and family are far away, but it's a like living in a sports camp.  I can swim, bike, lift, and run as much as I am able on turf, hills or track.   Frankly, I have little else to do, except occasional musical practicing and recording.  I do hope to get my boat out again week after next, since my truck is in the shop (again). 

It's really difficult to restrain myself from trying to run too often at this point.  I really should not run any more than every 4th or 5th day or so.  Next time I may just run hills instead of track, tomorrow at the earliest. 

It's not been too hot here past few days, just low 80ºs but the water temperature at the lake is about 88º at the surface.  It's like a paradise there, rarely see people except for weekends but on Sat., no one was there from 12:30 - 2:30pm.   I go right to the lakeshore on my motorcycle instead of having to hike the half mile to get there from the road.  I swim the quarter mile across the lake to a beautiful rock beach with colorful wild flowers, it's pristine and warm.  I imagine the fishing is great.  Paradise. 

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Just a few

On the track again tonight.  Felt ok although my stride still feels a bit clunky and asymmetric.   I did a similar brief workout as I did on Sunday.  Slightly more.
Hoka Clifton 3 trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
100m - 15. 6 
200m - 32 
100m - 14.4

Running my first 200m in a long time.  Was a bit spooked about trying the 200m because it was this exact distance on this same track I felt that 'snap' in my knee that took me out for this season.  So I ran it easy and it was fine. 

My workouts are going to be similar to this for a while and I may start running some hill sprints.  Probably be at least a week before I'm back on the track because of a hand surgery tomorrow, which will affect my upper body lifting and resistance work for quite a while. 

In a month, I may start putting tempo intervals together with limited rest.  Then the real training will begin. 

Monday, July 8, 2019

First track workout in 8 months

Well, it wasn't a real workout, but I did sprint for the first time, about 85%. 

It was great being on the track again.  Not going to push it, maybe once a week for the next month.  Knee isn't 100% but it's getting there.  It was a steamy humid evening in Sewanee, not hot, about 74º with a thunderstorms all around.  I kept it real brief as a big storm was approaching.

Clifton 3 trainers on
300m warmup, stretches, drills 
3 x 100m - 15.48, 14.82, 14.42

Well, it's a start.  I can sprint, albeit, slowly.  I expect to be back out Thurs as I am having a hand surgery Friday that will put me out of biking and much upper body lifting for weeks.  Hopefully, I'll be back on the track shortly after.  Expect to do some hill running next time.  Hill running is actually safe as it is short stride. 

I'm not as light as I'd like to be ... still around 146-147 lbs yesterday, 145 today.   It's fruit and melon season, been eating more but well.


Thursday, July 4, 2019

First runs

After a strong early mid June of diet and vigorous biking, I've gotten a tad soft after a week in FL with my parents and an unusual chest cold on this July 4th.  Last night I did the obligatory Stairmaster and a few machines, and my weight is OK, 143.8 lbs after workout last night, but I feel soft and not in shape.

While in FL, I did some of my first hill runs.  On Thurs and Sunday I did 3x150 hill runs and it felt OK.  On Tues I did 8 stadium stair runs and it felt ok but not great.  Very out of shape compared to last year when I ran 30 of these.  The next morning I felt a little weak, also due to the cold and travel.

My original plan was to get really thin, then start building muscle.  I did lose weight but 145-146 avg is not 'really thin' and my training has consisted of some cardio plus one set maintenance lifting of a few machines.  No real gains can be made with one set workouts, 2-3 times a week, so I'm just maintaining a moderate level of fitness, not really pushing it.

I can tell with my first runs, running hills and stairs 3 times in 6 days, that I should not be running more than once every 4-6 days or so at this point, and only hills and stairs, nothing fast or full stride. It's been 6 months today and I can still feel a small amount of pain when I really torque the knee to maximum flex and do single leg squats, but just minor.  I believe that the body needs time to adapt to running after so many months off. 

There is no rush!  I don't anticipate any serious interval workouts on the track for at least 6-8 weeks.  I really want to be viable to race a year from now at M60 and in the following indoor season which is a LONG ways away.  The USATF Indoor Championships will be at the Armory in NYC! on March 19, 2021... that is more than 20 months away, and the World Masters Indoor Championship WMACi Edmonton will be one of the latest ever contested... April 6-12, 2021.  That is where I hope to be 100% and back to world class at M60... 21 months away.  If that goes well, I may do Nationals again in 2021.  But all of this is so far away, I have no idea what will happen or where I'll be.  It's just good to have goals.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Hill climb on bike, run testing on track

After slacking a bit on Sunday, I went out and climbed Roarke's Cove Rd. yesterday on the bike, a 28 min 900' climb of 2.8 miles.  My bike needs some adjustment, not getting into the highest and lowest gears.  I stopped on the steepest part of the hill and did a 100m run up to see wha it felt like.  It was fine.   I then went to the track and did my usual warmup and added some single leg squats.  I tried a bit of running.  Running on the turf with high knees and good form, it feels good.  So, I did 3 x 50m high knee running.  I tried a 50m run with normal stride but it felt clunky.

I can tell my first running will be hills and not full stride.  Maybe some stadium stair when I get back to Murfreesboro on July 2.   I can see that it'll be a while before any speed work but it's nice to return to the track and to the hills for some running, even though it's just a little.   No need to rush anything.  I am trying to increase my flexion but when I flex my knee to the max, it really makes some noise. 

My weight was up a bit but body fat still OK.  When I get down to this weight it's not hard to maintain.  I ate a lot of chocolate yesterday and was 147 lbs after dinner, but today will be a light day and I'll be back to 143ish by tomorrow.  Woke up at 144.7 lbs, which is usually at least a lb heavier than after my workout.  I think I'll swim and do stairmaster, abs, and weights today.  Traveling to FL to see my parents tomorrow so I anticipate a break in my workouts for the next week with no bike.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

hill climbing on the bike then time off

Last week I took the boat up the river to Chattanooga and through the beautiful TN River Gorge.  On Friday morning I awoke to a gorgeous and unseasonably cool sunny morning, in the 50ºs and decided that it was the day to do the Raccoon mountain climb on my bike.

 It is a 12+ mile round trip and the hill is a relentless 1400' climb that goes on for about 5 miles.  I waited til early afternoon to start, which was a mistake because it got quite warm by the time I started, but still only low 80ºs but feeling hot in the sun.  Normally I would try to make this without stopping but I did stop a few times on the way up.   The vistor's center was cool and the views tremendous.  It was hard, I never thought I'd do it again... but I did, about 18 hrs later.

That night I met my HS friend Bill and he said he was in, he wanted to do the climb.  Bill is an endurance runner and he said he'd be bringing Dianna, his friend who is a top triathlete, about 10 yrs younger than us.

They showed up next morning at 6:30ish AM and I met them in the parking lot. They both had nice road bikes, Dianna's was a super light carbon bike.  I was on my much heavier entry level mountain bike.  After the first two miles, they were gone ... ahead of me and out of sight, Dianna leading the way.   This encouraged me not to stop so I kept going, pushing all the way to the top.  It seemed easier than last time, but certainly not 'easy'.    They were not at the visitors center so I took a loop of the lake before I finally found them, we took a few photos at the top.  

Bill and I made it down quickly and we were rewarded with a real close sighting of a bob cat crossing the road during our rapid descent, probably about 40+ mph. 

During this trip, I suspended my diet, and ate pasta once, some other carbs and developed a real fondness for Whole Foods brand chocolate almond butter cups.  

Aside from one ab session and a set of pull ups (16), I didn't exercise for most of 3 days after my return and my slacking on my diet caused me to backslide a little, still hovering around 145 lbs but getting a tad soft, so today, I need to do a hard bike and get to the gym.  

I've put aside this week to refocus on music as I've been learning some new pieces on the Baroque lute, which has been great fun and challenging.  

I hope to do more boating this season.  The boat ran great but when I got back to my truck, the starter was failing but I managed to get it to start one final time to get me home.  Also, the boat has a new modern  vacu-flush head that I installed, and the new exhaust manifold I installed is working well. 

This photo was from the top of the mountain and to give you an idea of scale, that tiny white dot at the left side of the parking lot is my boat.

As far as my other toys, my 2 Kawasaki dual sport Sherpa motorcycles are going to be very costly to repair, so I've been riding this street legal Suzuki DR 100 mini bike around.  It's 32 yrs old and amazing it still runs well.  With my truck in the shop, it is my only motorized vehicle.   I took it to the lake for a swim the other day.  Still relatively cool for almost summer in the south.  On and off showers and only in the 70ºs today and tomorrow.  

Love these long days.  Love this time of year.  A good life for sure.  

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Stairmaster and rowing, article

Traveling to see Dr. LaPrade tomorrow, so I won't be working out tomorrow and I did a harder one today.  Weights + 20min hill program on the stairmaster and 2000m in 9 min on the rower.

Was 142.5 lbs after workout.

Regarding diet and intermittent fasting, I saw this interesting article:
An Evolutionary Perspective on Why Food Overconsumption Impairs Cognition
"Obesity impairs cognition and increases the risk for some psychiatric disorders and dementias.  Continuous availability and consumption of energy-rich food in relatively sedentary modern-day humans negatively impacts the lifetime cognitive trajectories of parents and their children. The cellular and molecular mechanisms by which intermittent food deprivation enhances cognition and overfeeding impairs cognition are being elucidated."

consolation prize

It was an off season for me last year in '18, and due to injury, and I've taken this year off from track competition, looking ahead to next yr and a new age group: M60.

 At least I finished in the top 10 in the world rankings in the 400m in my age group:  #6 in world / #1 USA indoor; and #10 in world and #3 in USA outdoor. 

I'm happy to share this regional USATF award with my GPTC teammates - we won the masters M50 4x400 relays at both the Millrose Games and at the Penn Relays.   In addition, 2 World Championship relay medals in Spain, a Gold in the M55 4x100m and a Silver in the 4x400m for team USA.

Not too bad for an off year.  Unfortunately, my 2 worst races were the 2 most important: National finals and World Semifinals - 57.43 and 57.50... and that sticks with me the most. 

Thanks to Chuck for sending this award to me and thanks to my awesome teammates.   See you next year at Nationals and Worlds.

biking, stairmaster

With a bunch of projects I got distracted from a regular workout schedule but have managed to do something almost everyday.  New exercises include Stairmaster and rowing.  Have started an a new lower ab routine.  Also doing sets of 15 pullups.

The weather has changed dramatically.  For 23 days we had no rain, and warm temperatures.  Past few days have been rainy and cool.  The forecast is rain ending by Tues but temperatures really nice, only in the low 70ºs.

My weight is stuck around 143-144.  Today I had bread and eggs for the first time in months.  I will continue to keep the calories low but will add more cholesterol and carbs for building, healing, and hormone support.

I see Dr. LaPrade tomorrow.  Not looking forward to the long day which will start when I leave for the airport at 3am, and will return home probably just before midnight.

Still not ready to run but I think I'll be doing stadium stairs fairly soon.

Been spending money on toys... my boat and motorcycles.  I hope to take the boat out next week for the first time, spend some time in Chattanooga.  I've finished 90% of a complicated vacuflush head, one of my projects. I find out from the shop that both my Kawasaki dual sport Sherpas are going to need several hundred $$$ of work to get running, but my 32 yr old little Suzuki DR100 starts on the first kick every time. Probably the only street legal one of its kind. 

I look forward to driving to lake when the weather gets warm.  The temperature has been averaging only about 70º here everyday for the past several days.  Feels like I'm in the NE. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2019


I developed some concepts that I think really work for anti-aging pursuits.  Some things you can control, like lifestyle... but some things you can't, like genetics, stress.

I sometimes see body builders who are bulky, muscular, and low fat... 'look old' in the face.  Possibly due to neglecting skin care, tanning, genetics, steroids, etc...

What I mean by anti-aging involves both maintaining a physically fit body, heathy internals (good blood work, organ function, disease resistance) and healthful face and appearance.  As I said, some factors you can control and some you can't.

Factors you can not control:
1) Genetics.  Inherited traits that make a person look old may be things like baldness, gray hair, premature wrinkles, disease predisposition.

2) Stress.  Often stress comes from work schedule and/or family duties and obligations

Of the factors you can control, these lifestyle factors are the most important in my opinion, with some general advice under each.

Diet and nutrition
1) Eat less.  Calorie restriction has been proven to extend life in virtually every animal tested, from amoeba to mammals.  My Dr agreed that intermittent fasting (without being obsessive) has a host of health benefits.  Being as lean as possible helps blood quality, digestive health, vascular health.  As a help with fasting, I drink a lot of sweetened iced coffee in the warm months, Whole Earth sweetener is the best sugar substitute I've found.  I eat 2 small or one medium meal a day when reducing.  Don't feel as if you're entitled to eat out of habit at a certain time.  If everyone around you is eating, doesn't mean you have to.  As humans age, they become more adept at storing fat.  See my post on fasting.
2) Eat foods that promote lean body weight and disease prevention.  When reducing body fat, low carb for me is essential.  During a reducing phase, I'm eating mostly protein (lean meat, chicken, seafood), fat (nuts, avocados,  chocolate), and fresh vegetables.  During a strengthening phase, more carbs and protein.  Cruciferous vegetables are known for disease prevention, also daily but limited anti oxidant foods such as berries, pomegranate juice ... I even drink goji berry juice - just a shot every morning.   I also supplement some vitamins, D3, B complex, and various others.  I also take a liquid anti-inflammatory turmeric formula made by Qunol.
3) Don't eat processed/fast food and learn to feed yourself.   The most important part of this is to know what you're eating. Read labels.  Eat organic as much as possible.  I always buy organic chicken and produce.  Eat whole foods without additives, preservatives, etc...
4) Avoid alcohol and smoking.  Although light drinking of wine has shown clear health benefits, it also has the effect of lowering testosterone, especially daily beer drinking.  The issues with smoking are obvious, although one or 2 hits of pot a month is fairly innocuous.

1) HIIT.  High intensity interval training has shown numerous benefits for stimulating hormone production as well as overall health.
2) Strengthen.  Doing resistance work, weights or even resistance bands or body weight exercises.
3) Do projects. Things that keep you up on your feet or moving around rather than sitting.  Amazing how many calories one can burn doing a project... and it takes the mind off of eating.  Lately I've been working on my boat and I can see a big calorie burn, probably from climbing up and down the ladder to get on and off.
4) Move.  Walk, bike, stand, anything is better than sitting/ laying down.

Skin care - especially the face
I don't want to sound too vain or concerned with this, but men can learn a lot from women when caring for their skin
1) Moisturize.  Every time I shower or wash my face 2-3 times a day, I moisturize with Avalon Organic moisturizer.  That includes every night before sleeping
2) Avoid the sun.  I almost always train at dusk to avoid sun exposure.  When I know I'm going to be out in the sun, I use sunscreen, and wear a hat.  Not all sunscreens are good.  Some are more toxic than others.  Choose a low toxic sunscreen - this site is helpful.  Going to a tanning bed and/or laying in the sun are about the most destructive things you can do for your skin.  I 'layed out' when I was young.  Regret it now.  But was young and foolish then.  Going to a tanning bed has always seemed like 'a redneck thing' to me.
3) Taping.  This I learned from a girlfriend who does this all the time.  A little embarrassed to admit I do this... Taping wrinkles before bed with Frownies or anything from surgical tape to brown packing tape.  I have 2 extremely deep creases between my eyes and this pre sleep application definitely helps.  It won't erase your creases, but it helps, a lot.
4) Hydrate.  I've been hydrating lately with a fruit punch made with about 6 oz of fruit juice in a liter of water, sweetened with Whole Earth sweetener.  It's low cal, sweet, tasty.  Drinking watered down juice is better for hydrating than straight juice.

General Lifestyle
To some people, there are limitations on this aspect.
1) Sleep.  Sleep hygiene is important, better to prepare to sleep than to fall asleep on the couch and get up at 4 am and go to bed.  I'm notorious for doing this, falling asleep not in bed and keeping odd hours.  But, I have the luxury to sleep during the day and often take a mid-late afternoon nap.
2) Stress.  Live relaxed lifestyle, don't get uptight or angry, scowl at people, etc...  Be kind.  Try to make your work hours/schedule as conducive to sleep as much as possible if you have a choice.   Make your work environment and relationships comfortable.  Try to maximize free time, don't over commit.   Don't engage in constant controversy/drama with family, friends.  Relax.  All overachievers can be obsessive.  Compartmentalize your work and don't obsess about it all the time.
3) Spend time in nature.  Turn off the TV, disconnect from your phone.  Being in wilderness areas and natural settings can bring a peaceful and relaxing mindset, and good clean air.   It's also good to spend time in nature alone.
4) Stay on top of your health care.  Get checkups, blood work, check blood pressure, etc... You may have a disease or disorder that could be treatable and not know it.  Even those that live an unhealthy lifestyle can extend their lives by good medical care and preventative medicine.  Those that think they're healthy often don't know it when they develop a problem if they never seek preventative medical evaluation.   Blood pressure cuffs are not that expensive, good to have one.  I think I'm in decent shape... blood pressure in 116 / 66, resting pulse is 55.

Turning 60 years old next year ....

Hill climbs, rowing

I climbed Roarkes Cove Road on the bike first time this year 900' climb in 2.8 miles.  It was as hard as always.  Then went to the track to do some stretching and drills.  Afterward, I did my first session on the rower this year and some other weights.  I'll be starting Stairmaster next time.

I'm still about 2 weeks or so from my lean target, but almost there.   Avg weight is about 144, but was at 142.9 before eating yesterday.  Lately it's been grilled chicken and broccoli / some vegetable.

Still being patient, probably 4 weeks before running workouts although I may be doing stadium stairs a bit sooner. 

Good to be in shape, mostly due to diet. 

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Almost there

Did another hard mtn bike trial today, came up just short of my PR in 23:40.  Have been eating real lean, and dropped below 144 momentarily after doing some projects all day - one of which was changing out a manifold and riser on my Mercruiser boat engine.   What a job, went extremely well.

Mercruiser Chevy 5.7 exhaust manifold
I had a slight shoulder injury in a freak bike mishap, but it's no problem.  I can do pull ups but not yet pushups.

I'm feeling like I can comfortably jog but I'm just testing.  I do think a return to the track and stadium stairs is certainly within a month.  No hurry to sprint.  Expect to be doing foundation for some time.

Shedding fat has been quite a hobby and motivational.  I've found good substitutes for carbs and sugar, but I'm still eating extremely light, probably avg about 1000 cal/ day.  It may sound like a sacrifice but it's easy for me.  Besides my one main meal, I may have sweetened (no cal) iced coffee with a little chocolate and nuts.   Not the healthiest thing, as some days this Belgian chocolate and nuts account for 50% of my daily calories, as my meals are very low cal.  (Fortunately, I'm almost out of chocolate).  When I reach my leanest point, I'll shift my diet and training to include more cals, protein, carbs and more strength work.  I'm thinking 2 weeks.  I'll see what Dr. LaPrade says in 10 days.  Right now, I'm upping my ab work, doing body weight exercises.

Meanwhile, I'm enjoying the hell out of this vacation.  Practicing music, making improvements in my boat and motorcycles.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Back to the track, but not running ...yet

After another wicked mountain bike 10k sprint on Friday - a new PR, I had an active weekend of riding and returned to the track for the first time this yr.

PR - 23:31
4:59 - end of road
11:50 - turnaround
At the track I did my usual pre workout stretches, then did my ab routine, pushups, band exercises, single leg squats and A skips, B skips.  I just liked being there, at the track, with Roya.  Coming up on 18 weeks post op.  Probably 4 weeks minimum before I can think of doing some slow running, maybe stadium stairs.

Fat is coming off as I'm solidly under 150 lbs now.  On my 3rd week of calorie restriction.  Easier to do when I'm home and can have total control of my diet and exercise schedule.  Even after more than 2 weeks eating an avg of 1100 cal/day or less, my daily range is about 145.2 to 148.5, so presently about 146.8 avg.  I think this week will prove to make a difference.  I'm almost there.  Roya noted I have the small 'handles' that protrude from the workout tights, gone when I'm in racing shape.

My strategy is to get very light and lean before starting to run, then start packing on the protein and build muscle.  Easier to keep the fat off when it's gone.  Losing the last 5 lbs are the hardest.  Humans are proficient at storing fat.

Tonight,  I'm going to the weight room.

Eating great.  Nothing but organic fresh vegetables and fruits, nuts, berries, an occasional protein shake, poultry, fish, shirataki noodles.  Making another batch of turkey jerky.  Much better to munch on protein and not fatty nuts and chocolate, like I sometimes do.

Friday, May 17, 2019

losing the fat

Weight / fat is coming off after almost 2 weeks of calorie restriction.  My daily intake has ranged from about 1300 calories to a few days where I was under 500.  I was busy and on my feet during those light days so I really saw a difference.  Weighed 145.2 this morning but my daily average would probably be about 147ish. 

Working more on abs and upper body, can do 16 pull ups and 40 pushups so I think my strength is increasing.   

Last 2 days was busy with visitors and had not worked out much so I'll be back into it today.  I've not by any means lost my abdominal fat completely.  It's a process that will take probably 2-3 more weeks of careful diet and by the time I see Dr. LaPrade in June, I'll be able to start building muscle mass back up again with a bigger diet, more protein, some supplements, and soon .... a little running.  

The dangerous thing about doing these quasi fasts, real low calorie days while being active is that the less I eat, the less I want to eat and lose my appetite.  But now I'm back to a nominal diet and eating really well but small.

For example, this is a common dish for me, very simple and super tasty, high protein, very low carb, and low cal for a main meal.  This is about 380 calories:

shirataki noodles
32 medium shrimp
snow peas
olive oil

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

The fitness life

Officially on summer vacation, living the fitness life.  Training daily, mostly bike and weights.  

Yet another PR on the mountain bike.   I always start like 'ok, not going not go for the record' ... but did it again.  10k course with numerous hill climbs.  A third on gravel, 2/3 on paved.  Increased my record by one minute!   It was all on the second half of the course as my splits were about the same as the previous record.  
5:12 - end of road  
12:15 - turnaround
24:28 - Total 
This is the last week the gym is open til 11pm.  It's great, I was there until 10:30ish and it was a ghost ship.  Only 2 other people there.  What is astonishing is that with this lightly used facility, with most everything I need to train, including an indoor track, Sewanee is building a second fitness center on campus.  Seems ridiculous.  I heard it was due to the money being earmarked for that specific purpose by a wealthy donor, I think it was $30 million.  For that money, they could expand the track and create a real banked 200m mondo, and maybe get some more hi tech machines - like the Alter-G running machine.  There's one in Chattanooga I can use, and my friend Tom in Atlanta actually owns one.  It costs like $40K new.

I did 2 sets of all legs, actually doing light leg extensions and curls, 70º leg press and squats, all with much lighter weight than I normally use.  I didn't due the hip glute machine due to a slight hip pain I was having.  Also did some A skips and some brief high knee drills.

I was concerned I wasn't getting enough protein, but thinking back to previous training, at my peak, I'm sure I wasn't getting more than 60-80g per day at the peak of my speed.  So with my present level of training, I'm thinking important to get lean so I can start eating carbs and protein and build lean mass.  I'm counting my calories for the first time, making notes on what I eat, and even have a scale to weigh stuff.   So, I'm staying easily under 1200 calories and working out daily so I should be able to lose this fat by June.  I'm averaging about 150lbs, want to be 143.  I have tons of time but feel the urgency to get fit.

I'm just 16 week post op, which means I am at the point where I'm just able to start light leg ham resistance, although I've been doing it for a little over a week now.  According to the chart, no running for 8 more weeks... which seems like a long time.  I'm thinking maybe a week after I see Dr. LaPrade in June, so maybe 6 weeks.  I'll certainly ask him.  No hurry!   I really don't have to be in full training mode til early next year.   I'm not even supposed to start Stairmaster or rowing for another month.  Unfortunately,  the pool is closed for this week and summer hours start Monday, when the gym closes at 9pm.  I can do a lot at home, like my ab routine, bands, etc...

No matter what I do, the fitness gained by the specificity of running is impossible to duplicate any other way.  I'm sure my butt will be kicked when I do start running again.  I'm sure I won't be attempting any sort of meaningful track workout til late summer.

With this new food scale, I was able to weigh my shoes:
Clifton 1    - 7.1 oz
Clifton 3    - 8.1 oz
Puma training spikes v5 - 5.8 oz
Puma racing spikes v3 - 5.2 oz

Friday, May 3, 2019

Another mtn bike PR / annual blood work

Today was another killer effort on the 10k mountain bike course.  Another PR.  I was toasted afterward, felt like I just ran 3 x 800m.  It definitely pushed my aerobic capacity.  I was huffin' ... hard.
5:01 - end of gravel road
12:10 - turnaround
25:28 - Total

Last night did my usual stationary bike intervals, 20 x 15 sec sprints w/ 45 sec rest.  Quite a bit easier than the mtn bike circuit.  Also did a few upper body machines, leg extensions and my first leg curls.  I'm living the 'sports camp life.'  I will be completely done with MTSU on Monday and finished Sewanee up last night.

Annual blood work

As expected, my bloodwork declined from last year when I was sprint training and taking a lot of supplements.  I guess this is anecdotal proof that supplements - both for vascular health and hormones, together with HIIT do help.   My cholesterol jumped from 163 to 213 which was a bit surprising since I gave up eggs and butter, and have NOT eaten red meat in 18 yrs.  It's totally genetics.  But the Dr.  said it was nothing to worry about because, as proven by my zero score on the calcium heart CT scan, 'it's not sticking' ... I have no plaque in my heart.  He said even if my cholesterol were 20 or 30 points higher, I still would be comparatively low risk.   When I had my excellent readings last year, I was eating oat bran in the morning and taking 2 heart supplements - CoQ10 and niacin.  Haven't in a while.

What concerned me more was my total testosterone dropped from 560 to 380.  This is likely the result of some calorie restriction and a 40 hr fast and having the test taken later in the day after a poor nights sleep.  I do think taking legal herbals in conjunction with hard HIIT, T levels will improve.  I will never supplement testosterone - because as my Dr.  said, "once you start, it destroys your body's ability to produce testosterone naturally, and you're dependent on it for life."  Not to mention, it's illegal in my sport.  I'm on a 'over-50s fitness blog and it's startling how many guys my age are on dope (they call it 'gear') and the grey market internet sites they get it from.  Many of these poor idiots self esteem is apparently wrapped up in the size of their biceps.   That, my friends, is why 'body building' will never be a real sport, like an Olympic sport.

My Dr. also whole heartedly agreed and and endorsed the concept that intermittent fasting is extremely beneficial.  It stimulates hormones, helps fat burning, and the immune system.  The rub is that I'm trying to rebuild muscle and I find it extremely difficult to consume what is the accepted amount of protein an athlete should have to build muscle and support good T levels. For me that would be about 120 grams / day.  I almost never eat that much protein, rarely get over 70g / day.  I guess I'm going to have to supplement.  Thinking I can get half from shakes, and half from food.  The trick is to do it and keep calories low.  The protein powder I just ordered has 28 g / 170 cal.   With some milk thats about 70g protein in about 500 cal, which is good.  I found a way to make a tasty "ice cream" - almond vanilla flavor - with protein powder, milk, ice, and almond butter.  Also,  testosterone production is hurt by eliminating cholesterol from the diet, unfortunately.

At the gym, I did some drills and for the first time did about 10m of high knee running drills just to see what it feels like.  It's fine, no pain.  I'm pretty much off the brace, I did my bike PR without the brace, no issues.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Busting ass on the bike, new mtn bike PR

This one, I went for it.  I really busted my butt today in a near all out effort on my 10k mtn bike course (that includes gravel roads and numerous hill climbs).    I went out fast, up off the seat a lot.  Beat my previous PR by about 1:35 min.

Conditions:  dry, partly cloudy, 74º with occasional strong headwinds.   I was hampered a bit by equipment, my seat slid down and my up shifter was sticking.  I was also rude to a neighbor who stopped to tell me something from his car, I drove on by yelling, "Can't stop, doing a time trial!!"

New PR:  25:41

end of road - 5:14
turnaround - 13:12


Fasting today, blood work tomorrow.  Should easily be below 148 tomorrow.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Swim / nutrition

First time in the pool with aqua running and swimming.  Since a new exercise, I just did an easy 20 min 'jog', trying to maintain good form.  I followed with a brief 150m swim.

Trying to stay active, I did a leisurely bike ride for almost an hour around campus.  I ran into the local HS track coach, who I thought had retired, but he said he was back into it.  I rode over to the SAS campus and briefly watched their track practice.  Heh... watching a HS track practice, guess I really miss track.  I'd normally be getting ready to leave for Penn Relays this week.  I took the brace off to ride a bit, felt fine.  Not much difference.

Was lightest I've been in a while this morning, 148.5 lbs, but that doesn't mean I've lost much fat.   It just means I ate really light last night.  Today, I ate much more because tomorrow I'm fasting for 24 hrs for my annual blood work.  I weighed 153 after dinner.  Eating very smart though, pretty much zero carbs.

I've also drastically cut my sugar intake by using this natural sweetener:  Whole Earth Sweetener.  It's a mixture of stevia, and monk fruit.  Best sugar substitute I've had.  Use it in coffee/cappuccino, tea, and most of all, in limeade - very low calorie, which I've been drinking a lot of instead of the usual high calorie orange juice.

I made a real tasty protein snack last night, salmon jerky.  It's really a delicacy, it took over 3 lbs of salmon to make just one pound of jerky.  I swear I could eat the whole pound in a sitting.  It's a really great snack or compliment to a meal.  Packed with protein, low carb.  It has 15 grams of protein per ounce.  It's similar to eating bacon but more meaty and without the grease and dangerous nitrite preservatives.   I'm going to have to make this more often.  It's easy.

    salmon jerky

Saturday, April 20, 2019

New PR on mtn bike circuit

I wrote this post on Tues, 4/16 .... Beautiful day... 72º, sunny, windy.   Started out like last time, just going to ride the course and not push it... but.  I went for it again and increased my PR to 27:05.  Better than a minute faster than last PR.  This one I won't try to break for a while.  I really pushed it from the start.  6.5 miles with several hill climbs each way.

For my records...
end of gravel road - 5:46
turn around - 13:46 
Time: 27:05 minutes

more stationary bike, quote

After walking around in the rain at Sewanee's annual track meet on Friday evening, I went to the gym and did 20 x15 sec sprint intervals with 45 sec rest on the stationary bike.

On Thurs., one of the last days of school, the knee started hurting a bit after repeated stair climbs but feels ok now after the workout.

Been eating well but it's taking a long time for the weight to come off.  Still averaging about 150-151 lbs.  149.8 lbs this Sat. morning, lowest in a while.

I saw this quote that sums up why some people live better than others.  I think if you say or think this on a regular basis, it's a recipe for eventual problems ...

When people start a sentence with "Life is too short to not... " it's most often to justify an activity that they are addicted to and will shorten their lives.

The Sewanee track meet had some terrible weather, although it could have been worse.  The rain was light and the temperature about 43º. 

A first in an NCAA track meet…. At Sewanee’s annual Mountain Laurel Invitational, the meet was small and there were many scratches.  By end of the meet, only one men’s and one women’s 4x400m teams remained, both from the home team. Everyone else had left. So, they ran them together, guys vs girls. They could find only one baton, so the men used a water bottle!  No one wanted to wait for someone to run back to the school and get another baton.  The guys had about 100m on the girls by this first exchange.  I thought the guys might have a shot at lapping the women, but they won by 300m in a not so impressive time of 3:52.   Slower than most of the masters teams I've run with.  (GPTC ran 3:46 at Millrose one yr.)

By the first hand off of the water bottle, the Sewanee Men had a slight lead over the Women's team

Two years ago at this meet, it was a beautiful night for track, 68º, no wind. I ran the 200m in 24.84, which was at the time #2 in the world in my M55 age group.  I had won the M55 World Indoor 200m Championship in Korea just a few weeks before.  I think this was the last time I ran sub 25.

Great memories ... I got the Sewanee 4x4 team together for this photo at the end of the meet.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Food review: 'miracle' pasta

In a search for low carb low calorie food, I tried the konjac noodles today, also known as shirataki noodles ... and they were ok!  Really not much different than a traditional Asian rice noodle.

The brand: NOoodles has a somewhat 'miraculous' nutritional profile:  ZERO calories and ONE gram of carb:

So, when eating something with a nearly miraculous zero carb / zero calorie rating, you can't expect it to taste like wheat and egg pasta. Actually, if it tastes ok and has decent texture, then it's a huge win... and this pasta is just that.  It has no real flavor of it's own, and takes on the flavor of the sauce or what it's prepared with.  I wouldn't say it's particularly 'filling', but it fills the bill as a pasta dish.  The NOoodles brand comes packed in lime water.  Just 3 ingredients: water, lime, yam flour.

I prepared my first test as follows.  Empty water out of package, soak for a few minutes in warm salted vinegar water, dry fry on high heat, remove from heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil, Italian spices, paprika, and minced garlic.  Sauté at med heat for a few minutes.  It was ok!  Not bad at all!  Not real filling for a half pound serving but I didn't add much to it.  The 'angel hair' pasta isn't really as small as regular angel hair, but like small spaghetti.  The $3 cost per serving is a bit high compared to traditional pasta but it's worth it. $36 for a 12 pack/ 8 oz.  This would be good in a Asian pho-type soup with seafood and vegetables.

What is it?
It's from the Chinese konjac yam.  From Wiki:

The dried corm of the konjac plant contains around 40% glucomannan gum. This polysaccharide makes konjac jelly highly viscous and may be responsible for many of its health benefits as used in traditional Chinese medicine, detoxification, tumour-suppression, blood stasis alleviation and phlegm liquefaction. Konjac has almost no calories, but is very high in fiber. Thus, it is often used as a diet food. Konjac fiber-rich flour contains neither gluten nor fat, almost no carbohydrates, and has just 60 calories per kilogram, compared to 3,680 for wheat.  The dietary fiber from konjac is used as a component of weight loss supplements. Konjac supplementation at modest levels has been shown to promote increased butyric acid through improved bowel flora ecology and increase bowel movements in constipated adults.

Glad to have discovered this.  Wow... only 1.6% of the calories of wheat.  THAT is pretty miraculous.

Here was the first trial:

My spicy shrimp pho... a filling meal and under 125 calories.  Really.  Might be under 100.

Sunday, April 14, 2019


It's a great life in Sewanee... waking up to this incredible view, enjoying some volatile spring weather that has sent winds gusting to 47 mph today and storms last night.   I drove to the cathedral to practice guitar after midnight amid the lightning.  The cold front is coming through now and the temperature is rapidly dropping.  Expecting 36º tonight after a high of 71º today.

Yesterday, I decided to push my usual bike route - a 6.5 mile out and back with 5 good hard hill climbs each way.   I timed it as a standard to beat.  Came in at 30:13.  Then I went to the gym last night and did a stationary bike 19 x 15 sec sprint set w/ 45 sec rest, (taking 23 minutes with warmup and cool down).   I always finish with a 30 sec sprint.   I'm going to keep cranking it up each time, one set / one minute more ... so next time, 20 x 15 sec sprints.    I also did glute machine, adductors, 70º leg press, pecks, rows, pullups. 

I was going to swim today but couldn't find my goggles so I ordered some more.  I may go to do some water running tomorrow.  Instead... back on the bike.

So today, I did my ab routine and 12 pull ups.  I wasn't going to bike again, but since I didn't swim, I thought I'd do the course but not really push it.  So much for that.  As soon as I turned on my stopwatch, I went for it and completed the course 2 minutes faster than last time.  28:12 is the new standard.  Not bad since part of the return was into a very stiff wind.  So... in my usual format:

Mountain bike 6.5 mile circuit - 30:13 
19 x 15 sec sprints w/ 45 sec rest - cybex stationary bike  
50 x each side w/ 270 lbs - glute machine 
adductors, 70º leg press, pull ups, rows, pecks
Tabata ab routine - 8 x 20 sec sets 
12 pull ups 
Mountain bike 6.5 mile circuit - 28:12 

It's always a tendency for me to set goals based on time when training.  When I was a kid, my favorite toys were stopwatches and measuring tapes.  My brother and I would go outside every summer day and try to "make and break records."  I guess I haven't changed too much.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Staying active / losing weight

It's springtime in the Cumberland and I'm enjoying the solitude and beauty of the outdoors. The wildflowers are out and I'm on the trail and the bike.

Being here in Sewanee, I can live a very active life... hike, bike, swim, gym, stationary bike, weights - all in the same day.   Pool is open Sunday so I'm going for my first swim and aqua running session.  I'm up to a 22 min stationary bike interval program that is 17 x 15 sec sprints with a 45 sec rest (with a warmup and cool down).  Going to keep upping the intervals, 18 x 15 sec next time.

Last weekend I walked too far and felt some pain, but that is thankfully gone.  I weighed less than 150 lbs for the first time in weeks but my daily avg is still over 150.  It is coming off though.   I'm back to taking daily collagen and glucosamine supplements after briefly running out.  Also eating better.  Using less sugar and eating once meal a day, but will start eating a little oat bran in the morning.  Using Whole Earth Sweetener - a zero cal sugar substitute, and going to try carb free konjac noodles.  Still have a ways to go, at least 5 lbs,  more would be better. 

I'm about half way to my first running which should be about July 4th to be safe ...or about 11-12 weeks away.  I'll find out more when I see doc in June.

Looking forward to watching my local track meet next weekend and the Penn Relays on TV.  There is an MTSU freshman that has just run an amazing 400m / 200m double yesterday and will be interesting to see if he develops.  W. Wright ran a 46.75 / 21.06 double at the TN Relays this weekend.  Pretty astounding times for a freshman.  If he gets faster, he could be elite level.  He's also trying to triple jump which I hope he stops and focuses on his 400m.  MTSU also had a 21.05 sprinter and looks to put together some really fast relay teams for Penn.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Bike - weights - progress

Made a little progress and dropped a few lbs with good activity and very light eating past few days.  Dropped from 154 lbs to 151 lbs, still a long way to go.  I figure, with the loss of muscle mass, my lean weight should be in the low 140s.  Both Monday and Tues I did my usual mountain bike circuit of 6.5 miles with some hill climbs.  It took me about 37 minutes to complete the ride.  I'll start timing it precisely and try to do it faster next time.  I also did the sprint interval workout on the stationary bike Sunday and Monday night - a 20 min regime that is 16 x 15 sec standup sprints with 45 sec rest in between.  On the last sprint I push it to 30 seconds.  It gets my heart rate over 140 for several minutes, peak to 160.  I also did weights Mon and Tues night.  And... drills - A marches and A skips - while looking at my reflection in a window to work on my running form.  No running for at least 12+ weeks but this is a good way to work on form.

Next workout will probably be Fri evening.  Looking forward to a warm weekend and more biking.  

Monday, April 1, 2019

Time to get to work / WR erased

Just 'normal' exercise isn't going to be enough to get back into shape.  Even after riding my bike 20+ miles this weekend and doing some hiking, my weight is a problem, still at 154 lbs  ... after some late night practicing (music) and snacking.   By 'normal' standards, I exercise and eat healthy, but 'normal' isn't going to cut it.

Yes, time to get to work. Tired of being fat. I snacked on bananas and nuts last night.   I have to exercise 2x a day and eat less than 1000 calories. No more late night snacking.   No more cafeteria.   Going to bike today and gym tonight.   It starts now.   I pledge to lose 6+ lbs by the end of the month.   When I put my tights on to run in June, I want to be back to 145.    Maybe this will help the nearly debilitating swelling and numbness that has gotten worse with my left hand.

No longer a WR holder - France sets M55 4x200m WR

As I expected might happen, our 'official' 4x200m world record by the '16 Team USA was broken by France, their 1:39.40 bested our 1:40.22.   However, our 1:37.88 that was nullified due to an officials mistake is still far ahead of the 'official' WR.

That 2016 season's Indoor Nationals in Albuquerque - where that relay debacle occurred - was an awesome meet for me with some fast times.  I won the 400m in 55.22 and Bronze in the 200m in 24.65, just 0.01 behind Don and 0.21 behind Alan, both World Champions.  That 24.65 was my fastest indoor and 4th fastest as a masters.   If we had Alan on that relay team (who ran 24.44), our WR time would have been even faster, but we got Ben from the M60 age group to come down.  To revisit that relay debacle and why that record was legit, read the blog post for the full story.  In a nutshell, our record was nullified because the officials failed to mark the stagger for the first handoff zone, but that didn't affect us because we were in lane 2 and our hand off occurred exactly where it should have, there is video to prove it.   The 2nd leg break was correctly marked.  Quoting from the blog post which I showed with diagrams and photos why the first hand off was legal:

...The track wasn't marked properly for a 3 turn stagger and all the leadoff runners handed the first handoff at the same line - which was wrong.  BUT... since we were in lane two, the stagger in our lane was only a few meters and the video PROVES that the handoff from Don to Jim occurred exactly in the center of the zone, even though it wasn't marked (until the next day).  Here is the leadoff handoff from Don to Jim.  It occurred in lane 2 about 2 meters at most beyond the finish line.  As the diagram below shows, they nailed it ... the handoff was legal. 

They should have shut the meet down for 45 min and just marked the track, but no!   Our second attempt at the relay record, even though we got it by .22,  wasn't nearly as good.  We were tired, handoffs were lame, and we just didn't have the edge we had on day 2.   We averaged 25.05 a leg compared with 24.47 the day before.  Too bad, the first record might have stood for decades.