Pretty neat book about Trail Running


So I’ve been doing a lot more running on areas that are not “built up”. So I’ve been reading more into Trail Running. Especially since I have the Brazo’s Bend 50 Miler coming up in April.

I’ve been looking for good books with quality information. Mostly looking for something to tell me what needs to be done, less than “do this or you will fail” kind of reading lol.

activereality_cover

I saw this book last week, gave a it read and thought it was pretty cool. I liked it mostly because it didn’t try to sell me anything or make me do some weird stretch or maneuver that only a 35 year yoga instructor can pull off with dislocating… everything?

I thought it was good enough I even put a link to it, on my side bar, last week.

I was looking at it again today(to give a bit of a positive review) and noticed it was free lol. Darn the luck heh?

Give it a look if you guys are interested. It isn’t cycling oriented or anything, but it does have some cool information and made me look up a few things about specific distance races that I had never heard of before(and they were all in like the worst climates possible sheesh).

This Weekend- Oh What a Time!


This weekend was a Heavy Training weekend.

Saturday morning it started off with the Wife and I taking a run!

The Beauty!
The Beauty!

 

 

 

We ran a warm up mile. Then ran 3 x 1 Mile Repeats. This was a big day for me, as all three of my “repeats” were under 8          minute miles(7:52, 7:42,7:51-respectively). This had me stoked as I have not been able to do that for a long long time(before      my 3 year fitness sabbatical lol). Guess this shows that something is working right haha.

 

 

 

 

My year long goal is to have a 1:40 Half Marathon Pace. With results like this I can feel that day coming… eventually 🙂

I'm always this ugly. Don't be alarmed!
I’m always this ugly. Don’t be alarmed!

Mrs. NGC also did Great! She had taken a few weeks off, however, you wouldn’t have noticed it as she was flying on her runs!

 

 

 

After this, I went for a 20 Mile Bike Ride.

Half-Way through
Half-Way through

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second half was a rough ride for me, I started to die down on energy, although I was eating and drinking per my usual 10/10 schedule.

 

 

By the time I was done, I was literally done. I did not bonk(which I am proud of), but I did not feel a lot left in the tank for the day.

Yeah, I am as tired as I look!
Yeah, I am as tired as I look!

That night, I splurged and ate an Italian Sub-Sandwich from a local pizza place(toasted). It was great, filled me up and, almost immediately, I started feeling a lot better. This carried on into the evening as I continuously stretched and even “rolled” a few times to help my legs feel less like jello and more like powerhouses! By the end of the night, I was feeling recharged and human again.

 

 

 

 

Sunday morning was a group run with a Facebook Page called “Running Adventures Around the World”. This was a 12 Mile loop that was going to done twice by some, so they could hit 20 Miles for the day. I had only planned on doing one loop, as I had a Cycling Safety Class scheduled for the Afternoon.

Starbucks to start it Off!
Starbucks to start it Off!

This was to be a group run for fun, without any real race pacing or trying to kill each other trying to keep up.

Bridge found in Kemah!
Bridge found in Kemah!

As you can see we had a lot of fun!

We spent a lot of time finding great places to use as photo Ops!

A Sign as Proof
A Sign as Proof

 

 

 

We took our time and enjoyed the run. We all carried nutrition, I brought along my Hydration-Pack, so I was able to offer extra water to those with smaller water bottles.

We took breaks often too!

Even for a Rocky Sock Situation!
Even for a Rocky Sock Situation!

 

As we continued our journey we found a couple of Signs we were able to photo Bomb.

 

I was behind the camera!
I was behind the camera!

We had a Great time! With such an awesome group of runners. At Mile 10 we had a nice stretch!

A picture taken while taking a picture ;)
A picture taken while taking a picture 😉

 

All in all, this was a good experience.

 

We ended up enjoying ourselves too much and by the time we got done, I was late for my class 😦 . there are others, so I will be able to make sure I get my class so I’ll be safe haha.

 

After this, I rested for about an hour and some change. Then went to another Group Run, with Team RWB.

Team RWB Pearland Group!
Team RWB Pearland Group!

I ran with a buddy who does Triathlons like they are too easy not to do. We used a 7 Minute run, 1 Minute walk rotation that worked out pretty darn good. I was definitely feeling it, but I was able to keep up the pace and stick with him(although I am pretty sure he tried to drop me a few times haha). This was a 4.25 mile run and I was feeling pretty good even at the end, although I was tired, I wasn’t totally baked!!

After this we all went to a local restaurant (our usual post run hand out joint for some refueling food). This is a staple of the weekly diet, where I always have a Giro Platter and it is so delicious!

All in all, this was a tiring weekend. I am glad I was able to make it through. This is definitely a a good sign that everything is going well. I am excited about the next few months and can’t wait till all the “race days” coming up.

All though this was a “training” weekend, it was a lot of fun. Being able to enjoy amazing workouts with some really great people is always a good time(even if I want to cry after the workout!).

As always. Thank you for stopping by and hopefully having a good time. Let me know what you think and give me some of those great tips and tricks if you see something doesn’t quite “look right”.

Laters!!

 

Paying for Weight- “Weighing in on the Discussion”


So I have now been part of, privy to, or read about the famous “buy the lightest gear in existence” conversations.

Now to explain this I’ll tell you what I have heard from both sides. Then I’ll give you my “very well informed” 3 months of cycling experience and the “deep understanding” of the way the Universe works :).

I have read, almost everywhere, that there are many different factors that go into the “increased efficiency” category for riding. The largest or most popular method, that I have read about, to this is to buy lighter gear.

Now, I am a beginning cyclist and won’t even attempt to really “make claims”, but I am a very active person and have been very active for a majority of my life. Completing hikes of over 100 miles, running as a passion, kayaking, and many other hobbies. So with this experience, I would say Yes to “part” of that “Buy Lighter Gear to be a more efficient and faster Cyclist”. The “Lighter” Part, to be specific.

In each of the disciplines above, the ones I have more experience in of course hehe, the lighter the better. The less you have to trudge along with, the easier it is to trudge along.

Now I think a great many people truly and deeply understand this fact- the lighter something is, the easier it is to move- or to make move. What I think(my opinion here) is that people, as usual like to take the shortest route to a goal. With this “easy route” mode stuck in their minds, they lose all control or understanding of anything except the words “Weight” and “Lighter” when thinking of cycling and immediately look at a store shelf, instead of a mirror.  This pursuit of “lighter” isn’t a bad thing, in fact in many cases it can be the best solution. However, I do think that there is more than one way to skin a cat.

With this said, it’s time for the big statement that, I am sure, will make many people downright pissed off.

You need to shave weight off of your big ass before you need to worry about the weight on the bike :).

People will spend 1000$ to save 1 pound of weight for a bicycle component, but they have a Double Bacon Wrapped Deep Fried Three Patty Deep Burger for dinner(on a regular basis).

I don’t even understand how that makes sense inside someone’s head- excepting the above “take the easiest route possible” mentality.

Now I get wanting to have high speed low drag gear, who doesn’t. But if you are reducing the weight of your bike, thinking it will get you “real” gains in your cycling efficiency, I truly think you are going to be a bit disappointed, although you will see a small improvement.

I will continue this from my POV- so I don’t anger anyone lol.

I want to look at the whole picture. From this I mean that (from a weight) point of view, the Bike is not the only thing that has weight! My big Ass just so happens to be on top of this 20 lb steed(least that is what the Felt Website says it weighs lol).

So after about 2-300 miles I began to wonder what would make me a more efficient Cyclist(and that is how this post was conceived lol).

So I sat down and wondered- Being Lighter(that “whole picture” thing above again) would make it easier to move. Being lighter would mean that there is less mass to move, less drag from wind, less downward force to overcome the friction of sitting on it. So if I make the bike lighter that would make it go easier- But how much weight can I really shave off of a 20 lb bike? A few of you may be thinking “A Lot!”. So what is “A Lot” of 20 lbs? 5lbs= 25% decrease! Percentage wise that is huge! I would soar like and eagle and strike like lightening, I’d be so fast!! Umm, I’m not seeing that happen in the real world.

But what if I lost that same 5 lbs? I mean, what if I made ME 5 lbs lighter? Wouldn’t that be just as good? And no lying to yourselves here, who among us couldn’t lose a few extra pounds here and there? What if I decided to lose 20 Lbs? Now, I can currently lose about 25-30 Lbs without going below 12% body(yeah I’m a fatty at the moment and this is one of my goals hehe). And that is just me and everyone is different, but most people could lose a few and not miss them too much.

I’m not going to go into nutrition, or eating habits, or any of that crap right now. But I will say, those who want to lose weight do. Those who don’t, don’t. There is no secret to losing weight. There is hidden myth behind weight loss. If you expend energy and eat in a healthy and balanced style, you will lose weight. If you are never active, eat anything at all at anytime, and never make an attempt to change that- Do you really think you’ll lose weight? Ok, that is all on that- I’m not gonna try and tell you “how” to lose weight. But I am trying to “shed” light (see what I did there?)on the fact that, to weigh less, you actually have to decide you want to change and then figure out how that change works or will work for you. (insert promotional “I’m an Awesome Inspirational Speaker” plug here)

With this in mind- although I can’t lose 20% of my weight nearly as quickly as I can go to my LBS and get some high speed low drag gear that weighs almost nothing, if I did lose that weight, wouldn’t I be stronger for ME instead of doing it “only” to the bike and not worrying about my own weight on top of it? Wouldn’t I be able to cycle even more efficiently if I didn’t have the extra weight dragging not just the bike, but my body down? So instead of worrying about the bike’s efficiency, I just increased mine! Not to mention the increase in my own bodies efficiency for all of the other activities I like and a decrease in the physical stress associated with those activities.

Before you hate, I am not proposing that getting components that are “higher” end is not a good idea. I’m just saying that I think it is purposeless to have the most expensive gear you can mortgage your home for, and still have an extra stone on your gut! I think I should explain. By “higher end” I mean not only lighter gear, but gear that is designed to do it’s function more efficiently. This is sometimes forgotten, because at the same time the manufacturer makes it a better mechanical component, they also make it a “lighter” component. So people see this gear and think only one thing- lighter is the only thing that equals better. 

On this line of thought- I also believe that there are diminishing returns. Both in the weight of the bike and person. A slightly heavier person, with a bit more leg strength(dense leg muscles) may be able to outperform a person that does not have that extra muscle in their legs. But, get too much muscle and you’ve now made your “too much heavier” for that muscle to really give you an upper hand.

So I am saying that there is a point where a specific person’s weight should stabilize for their personal optimum performance. At this point, they could race themselves with two different bikes, set up with entirely opposite end of the spectrum components, and that would be a real test!

I, myself, plan on eventually upgrading things on my bike- drive train and wheels are on that list. And who knows where I will want to try and take myself in the future with cycling. But I will do my best to never attempt to “upgrade” something on the bike without making sure I can use the bike to it’s fullest as it sits(and I have a long way to to with my stock Z7 lol).

I know this is tired subject and there are many schools of thought on it. This is just my take, opinion, 1.4 cents worth, whatever lol.

I hope we all reach our goals and make new ones that are even harder 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

 

A Recovery Bike Ride on a Great Day!


Looking Like an Idiot before the Ride
Looking Like an Idiot before the Ride

First up, I got my Bike Back on Tuesday!!! Woot woot. I took it in on Monday to get it serviced(have about 500 miles on it now 🙂 ). They gave it a good once over and made sure everything was still tight and in the right position. We went ahead and lowered my bars a couple of spacers, as I had noticed I had been riding more and more in the drops. It was just very comfortable. So we dropped the bars and we shall see how that feels over the next few rides. “It’s gettin Aero in here!”. Haha.

I also picked up some new shorts. I think I’ll do some reviews on the other pieces of gear I have over the next week or so- so we can get a baseline of how the gear is performing thus far.

Yesterday was an easy ride kind of day. After a long weekend of riding, and then several runs at the beginning of the week, my legs felt tired and more than a little sore.

My buddy came to drag me as usual(he is way too fast for me to over take him if he doesn’t want me to lol). He kept the pace fairly slow and sedate- compared to what he can do. Compared to what I can do, I still spiked my heart rate a few times(over 165) keeping the pace. I mostly kept my HR low, as my average for the ride was 152.

This was a nice 25 mile ride through a few highway type roads and sub-urban areas. It was great to just spin and let the stress in my legs out. I noticed a few times where my legs really felt sore. However, after the ride, they felt great. Really couldn’t believe how good they felt the rest of the evening.

I only drank water and an electrolyte drink throughout the ride, since it was so short. I had dinner pretty much waiting when I got home.

The bike performed great. No missed gears or jumping up or down gears. Very smooth and solid with no issues or worries. The dropped bars also felt very comfortable. I didn’t feel like I was leaning too much on my hands(while on the hoods) and I still felt comfortable down in the drops. I originally was very afraid of leaning too far forward and being uncomfortable, but now that I’ve gotten some more miles on me, I really like that position. I feel like it makes it easier to keep my back straight and my hips rotated correctly. Keeping good contact on the saddle and my legs feel great. We will see how this goes and adjust from there. I don’t see myself getting too much lower, but I am glad to know that I am still comfortable with a little change.

I figure I’ll start doing my own maintenance for the next service, and maybe take the bike in once a year to have it eyeballed by a professional. I do my own motorcycle maintenance, how hard can a bicycle be?

In the end it was a great day. Sun was out for most of it. The wind was out too, which made for some difficult sections, but nothing that couldn’t be conquered and ridden through!

Afterwards I felt energetic and ready to take on the World! Haha.

You can see the workout by Clicking Here.

8 Mile Run- 2-18-2014


Nothing but Miles!
Nothing but Miles!

I was able to get out yesterday and put in some miles before sunset. Weather was great! A nice 63 degrees with just a little bit of wind.

Funny thing was, I got out there, got stretched and warmed up a bit, then realized I didn’t have my HR Strap. So back to the Apartment I go. Looked around and eventually found it and got back outside. This put me starting about 20 minutes later than I had wanted, but it all turned out just fine.

I didn’t really plan out how far I was going to go. I knew I wanted to put in more than 3-5 miles, just not an exact total. I did bring a pack of gels and had some heed in a water bottle that i staged on one side of the loop I ran. This way I could have some nutrition when needed. At 5 miles I still felt fresh enough to push on.I went ahead and put in another 5k.

By the end of the 8 Miles I felt pretty tired. My legs were starting to feel the distance and I decided that it was time to turn in for the day. Over all I still felt great and even got in some cool down exercises, which I need to do more often.

I ended the Run just before sunset and was able to get a few pics(they were taken while I was running, so no hate please lol).

Beautiful Sunset Across the Lake
Beautiful Sunset Across      the Lake

This is only my second semi-high mileage run on non-man made paths.I feel like I am doing well, and can’t wait for my next training run on Saturday, with the wife.

Today I’ll be putting in a Bike ride, probably around 20-25 miles. I’ll try and keep up with my buddy( I am pretty sure he is the son of flash or something). We shall see how my legs feel after that!

Tomorrow is a rest day, but I may got and get some cross-training plyometrics in. Just get my Heart Rate above 135 and keep it there for a bit. Nothing too strenuous.

Saturday’s run will probably be a couple of 1 mile repeats with maybe a 1-2 mile fartlek at the end. Time will tell, and I’ll let you guys know what Time tells me 🙂

In the end, I was super glad I made it out, even with the problems at first lol. And I was pretty impressed with the decent pace I was able to maintain without feeling like I was dying.

Each day brings me a bit closer to April and each workout prepares me a bit more to achieve my Goals!

You can find my run data by Clicking Here. It’ll show you the course and my slow pace haha.

Multiple Sclerosis Quiz


As mentioned before, I am participating in this years Houston to Austin BP MS150.

As being a part of this amazing event was not enough, I have also been privy to multiple emails with intriguing information about MS.

I recently received an email with a simple quiz about MS. This was a huge learning experience for me. This was only 7 questions, but they all havea  huge impact on a person’s life.

ImageProxy

I found this both amazingly eye opening and, at the same time, it created a more sensitive awareness of just what this terrible disease does to people’s lives every day.

Take a moment and look at this today. It is mobile friendly(that’s where I opened it).

This is just a glimpse of what it is like to live with this disease. Thank you for taking the time to take a look at life through their eyes. And thank you for anyone who has donated anything(money or time)  to the MS Cause. With all of our help we can mitigate and someday hopefully cure Multiple Sclerosis.

Thanks for reading Everyone!

If you would like more information about MS, Click Here. You will find information about how this disease works and the treatments currently available. This is a never ending battle and the more we can spread the awareness of this issue, the more help we can get to find a cure!

Please make sure to share and like this post! This way even more people can see what a great cause this is and how many amazing people are involved in this fight!

Blogging Milestone and What it Means to Me


My first "real" award!
My first “real” award!

I am a brand new Blogger. As you can see, I have barely over a handful of posts “in toto”.

This has been a bit of a different journey for me, as I have never really shared my life like this before- or anything that I am doing. We mostly all have Facebook, however, most of my posts on there are from being prompted to, or a special event.

To be able to get on here and drop some information about anything(although most of mine has been about cycling lol) is something new and unfamiliar to me. However, I am feeling more and more comfortable giving good information and my personal opinion about things.

Earlier today I received the “50 Likes” Award(I took a snaggit of it and you’ve already seen it up top hehe). I am extremely proud that so many people have already shown their support in another “new guy” trying to get out here and share what we experience everyday.

I received so much encouragement from you guys, I just can’t believe it.

Thanks again everyone. And yes, there will probably be another one of these at the 100 and more marks. 🙂

Happy Times Everyone and have a Great Day!