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Running for Something

I’ve been running for a few years now.

I started out running for my immediate health. My cholesterol was off the chart, especially for someone my size and weight. I had to do something, or I would continue to spiral downward and eventually end up hoping that a defibrillator would bring me back from the brink. That’s not a life I wanted to live. I’ve run from the grim reaper long enough; it was time to run toward him, taunting him.

As you can read in my “about” page, I begrudgingly learned that running wasn’t enough. I had to make dietary changes, so I went plant based. Within a year I dropped my overall cholesterol by 66 points, no meds just food!

In another middle finger in the air moment directed at the grim reaper, just about 6 months ago I got hypnotized and finally quit smoking. 25 years of addiction gone with some mumbo jumbo talk that I never thought would work, yet here I am.
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Vega Protein and Greens

I’m a rather big fan of Vega, especially their VegaOne. They have a variety of ways to get your protein. You can go vega_proteinGreens_tub_chocolate_medium_us_358x450pxwith the VegaOne which is more of a daily nutritional shake, you can go with the sport Protein which is a little higher in the protein content, or you can go with this one which has the same amount of protein as the VegaOne. The bonus here is this is like a mixture of the sport and the VegaOne, you get a couple servings of veggies here that you maybe didn’t get in the sport mix, which I like having so I can sneak a few more into my diet. I have gone this direction a bit more as I’ve been running and training harder for my 50k in August.

It’s really hard to find a protein powder, in the vegan/ plant based realm, that is not chalky or tasteless. Vega’s Protein and Greens is exactly the opposite. I mix mine with only water and it tastes amazing.

It’s got just enough sweetness so it’s not too sweet, but satiates the palate. I’ve read other reviews about the over abundance of stevia in the product and, on a personal level, I couldn’t disagree more. I honestly do not like stevia based products. To me, if there’s too much, it tastes very synthetic. That is not the case here as it’s a smooth flavor and the chocolate is well balanced.

The mixability is amazing, just a few shakes in the ole shaker cup and it’s ready. I can’t comment on mixing with anything else, as a shake, than water though. I can tell you that I have mixed this with chia seeds to make an awesome chocolate chia pudding! Yeah I will post the recipe on the blog soon enough. I used it to help fuel me on the recent Cape Cod Ragnar Relay.

All in all, this is another solid product from Vega.  I guess it’s time to order more, only another shake or two left. 🙁

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Ragnar Week

Along with my teammates, this Friday I take on the Ragnar Relay Cape Cod. The race starts in Hull, MA and ends in Provincetown, MA. Ragnar says the mileage is 200ish, so that’ll be fun!

Working as a cable guy on the outer and upper Cape, I’ve seen this race run for multiple years now. To be honest, I always thought it looked fun but never thought I would even attempt it. That changed when I started running and now I am ready, and looking forward, to the challenge. My friends have done it, my teammates have done it and they all agree on one thing; it’s one of their favorite races to run each year.

I have leg 10 (12.8 miles through Plymouth), 22 (3.7 miles through Brewster into Harwich) and leg 34 (1.6 miles in Truro). My first leg will be at roughly 8pm so a night half-marathon is the plan there. I banged out my last long run, 10 miles, a couple days ago and feel good. I should be able to hold my projected pace and allow the stronger runners to keep theres as well. My hope is to not be slow and cause them to have to make up the time.

The plan now is maybe one more slow and short run and to eat nutritious meals. Of course there’s that whole hydrating thing too!

Bodyweight 10 to 1 WOD 4/24/15

This workout is going to be 10 rounds. As daunting as that seems, it is not.

What you are going to do is complete the first series of exercises 10 times, next round will be 9 times, the next 8 and so on until you finish the last round of 1.

Here are the exercises:

Burpees – Watch this video to see how to do a proper burpee

Mountain Climbers – I do not know this guy personally, but it’s how I do this exercise. Watch this video to see how to do a mountain climber.

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PlantPure Nation’s Kickstarter is LIVE!!

plantpure

From the folks that brought us Forks Over Knives comes another project, PlantPure Nation. Yesterday their kickstarter page went live and they are looking for your help in raising funds to bring this film around the country. Why is that important? It’s important because people are going to need to see this film. It uncovers a truth that so many will never see unless given an opportunity suck as this.

Go to the Kickstarter page here: PlantPure Nation on Kickstarter

Synopsis taken from PlantPureNation.com

“The documentary film PlantPure Nation tells the story of three people on a quest to spread the message of one of the most important health breakthroughs of all time. When nutritional scientist and author T. Colin Campbell inspires Kentucky State Representative Tom Riner to propose a pilot program documenting the health benefits of a plant-based diet, they inadvertently set in motion a series of events that expose powerful forces opposed to the diet. When industry lobbyists kill the pilot program, Dr. Campbell’s oldest son Nelson decides to try his own grassroots approach in his hometown of Mebane, North Carolina.

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Rip Esselstyn and Slaying Dragons

Eating plants doesn’t have to be that image you have in your head. You know, the image you have of your mom’s hippie friends sitting around blasting Janis, cooking lentils, sipping on tea and smoking “doobies”.

This video shows you can be a bad-ass and still give two sh!ts about your health. I’m a firm believer that science isn’t exclusive to the lab, science is based on real life, practical tests. There’s evidence here folks, put aside 15 minutes and watch already!!

Review: “Off Course: Inside the Mad, Muddy World of Obstacle Course Racing”

offcourseWe all have our stories of suffering through the VT Beast, a hard fought push through the finish, or even just a silly themed mud-run. This book, “Off Course: Inside the Mad, Muddy World of Obstacle Course Racing”, unlike all the OCR training guides; is the written journey of a woman who has taken on triathlons but had been dealing with nagging injuries. After proverbially writing off running altogether, Erin Beresini found OCR and fell in love with it, as many of us have.

“Off Course…” pulls back the veil of what it takes to not only train for an Ultra-Beast, which Erin completed, but also walks us through the emotion, pain and absolute suck that only Killington mountain can serve up. Her wit and humility make for a great read. I found myself not only nodding my head when I knew exactly what she was going through, but I laughed out loud more than once too.

Erin also delves into the history of OCR and has done a fantastic job of crafting the story-line of how it all began, where it is, and where she thinks it may go. From Mr. Mouse to Joe Desena to Will Dean and more, Erin takes us inside some of the dark parts too. From the rivalry between Spartan Race and Tough Mudder, to the lawsuits against Tough Mudder via Mr. Mouse (who runs Toughguy in England) and even the details on the athlete that drowned at a Tough Mudder some time back.

I’d definitely give her an A for getting down to the nitty gritty of what has gone on behind the scenes. I appreciate the fact she is also not writing with rose colored glasses on. Unless I missed something, there is not an ounce of OCR polarity in this book. She takes umbrage with anyone and writes what some might not want to say. Are the facts shocking? Maybe not to us, I mean you are on this page because you are “in the know” as far as the OCR scene goes, right? We all know that Will Dean is “Mark Zuckerberg” of OCR, like Erin likes to call him. We all know that Joe Desena is a tyrant, but a tyrant who has an interest in bringing us back to our primal selves. Knowing what we know about these characters, some of the antics will not surprise you but you will just shake your head and say, “yup, that’s who ___ is alright!”

It’s a quick read. Erin’s words are light-hearted and you’ll find yourself cheering at times for her. At other times you may slouch down in your seat as she faces some of the barriers that you very well have faced on a course or two.

It’s and excellent read, I suggest it 100%!

Check out the book details at http://www.hmhco.com/shop/books/Off-Course/9780544055520 where you can purchase the book direct from the publisher.

You can also find it on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Off-Course-Inside-Obstacle-Racing/dp/0544055322

Erin also has her own persoanl page, which links to her old Triathlon blog which was interesting to look back on, go to http://www.erinberesini.com/ to check that out if it interests you!

Grace

bcf41756a6a665d6cdb62c77c2d0dda4Off to Myles Standish State Park for a little camping trip, yet I cannot stop thinking about Pittsfield; especially today as the Summer Death Race kicks off. I started thinking of nouns, verbs, adverbs, etc that might sum up what the racers are going to encounter. Fear came to my mind most willingly as did pain, discomfort, frustration, confusion, failure, etc. I bounced these words around so much and tried to find one positive in them all and it came to me; grace. It was probably after I read the following quote from one of my all-time heroes:

“Fearlessness may be a gift but perhaps more precious is the courage acquired through endeavour, courage that comes from cultivating the habit of refusing to let fear dictate one’s actions, courage that could be described as “grace under pressure” — grace which is renewed repeatedly in the face of harsh, unremitting pressure.” ~ Aung San Suu Kyi

You can define grace in so many ways. such as: (from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/grace)

grace; (noun)

1. elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action.

The racers must face their fears with grace. To stop the momentum of it would be giving in to failure, which is not even closet to what grace is defined as. Fluid and constant that is the type of grace needed.

2. a pleasing or attractive quality or endowment.

They will doubt the measure of grace they embody. That is more of the race than anything, the doubt that is cast by the tasks and by the mental challenges. They must dig deep, extremely deep and dust this off, it is there

3. favor or goodwill.

There will be those on that mountain that define grace in this way, yet they may be unseen, or unheard from. The grace shown by the support teams is immense and so important to a Death Racer, they may seem benign at time. This is far from the case, 110% of the time. Crew has more grace in their tiny little pinky finger than most. They subject themselves to the same race and endure the same conditions. All to help back those who are taking on the challenge of their lives, that folks is grace!

4. a manifestation of favor, especially by a superior.

Especially important is to admire and inspire with grace. Whether that is manifested by a DR veteran or not, the grace is there and the noobs must be able to see it and follow it.

5. mercy; clemency; pardon.

There will be no grace in the hallowed stare and boisterous tone of the RD’s voices.

Said plainly: Joe, Andy and other’s are there to break you.

They pull no punches and have said it themselves, they expect you to quit.

They expect you to cry.

They expect you to find whatever excuse it is that you will use to get out of the race.

They expect from the moment they lock eyes with you that you will cower and not make it through the race.

Do you have enough to get through and not let their scorn deny you an experience?

Do it with dignity, integrity and modesty. Be humble and strong. Do not let other’s define your experience and what you will or will not be at the end. Channel grace in whatever form works for you, the world is watching and win or lose; grace is what truly defines you.