Friday, December 31, 2010

My 2010 Year in Review

The term "time flies when you're having fun" definitely applied to me this past year and I can't believe 2010 is history. I decided to do a quick recap highlighting some of the main memories from each month and whatever else comes to mind.

  1. January 1, 2010:  Joe Grant and I drove over to Bend, Oregon and ran the Badass 50k w/ some other friends and had a good time camping out in the badlands.
  2. February- Took a road trip to run the trails on Orcas Island, WA and was blown away by the beauty up there! Met some great people in the process.
  3. March-  Had a good race up at The Chuckanut Mountain 50k
  4. April-  Found out the gender of our baby on Friday and won Peterson Ridge Rumble 60k the following day in Sisters, Oregon.  
  5. May- Made a spontaneous road trip with Browning, Meissner, and Ashley Nordell to Reno, NV and I ended up winning and setting the course record at The Silver State 50k.
  6. June-  4th place overall at Bighorn 100 and felt good about how I ran on a pretty rugged course.
  7. July- Worked a camp a Mt. Hood for students w/ disabilities that changed the course of my career.  Raced to a 5th place at USATF 50-mile Championships at White River, WA.
  8. August- Welcomed our baby girl Farah into the world at 9:53 pm on August 28th here in Portland, Oregon.  One of the greatest days of my entire life!  And we share the same birthday :-)
  9. September- Witnessed my wife Erica fight her way through a nasty uterine infection so we could start our little happy family together.  She's such a good mom....I couldn't do any of this without her!
  10. October- I ran a pretty good Portland Marathon on 10-10-10....but boy did it hurt!
  11. November-  First time visiting Ashland, Oregon and ran Lithia Loop Trail Marathon.
  12. December- Did some good snowshoeing, snowboarding, and visiting family and friends in the east introducing Farah to everyone.
To be honest this past year was one of the best years I have ever had on so many different levels.  I am so grateful to have had the opportunities to accomplish the aforementioned adventures.  Many of it would not be possible without such a strong and supportive wife and family.  Thank you Erica....I love you!  Also...thanks for the friends and training partners that accompany me and make me a better runner and know who you are!  Thank you to my sponsors who make my life so much easier.  Inov-8, Udo's Oil, Living Harvest, Drymax Socks...I'm really proud to be representing such righteous companies.  Sometimes I need to pinch my cheek to see if I'm dreaming.  If 2011 is half as good as this past year I'll be a happy camper!

Happy New Year and thanks for reading!

Friday, December 17, 2010

3 Non Joggers Podcast Interview

Last week I was asked to sit in for an interview in the studio with ultra runners Russ Mcgarry, Gary Vale, and Carl "the mail man" (pictured above ;-)  It was my first time doing this sort of thing and I had a really fun time. These guys, for the most part, like to talk about all the totally random things that us runners go on and on about while running.  I think what they're doing is a great idea and after me being a guest on the tenth hour-long show I feel that they are starting to find their groove :-) Keep it up guys....see you on the trails!

Have a listen by clicking HERE

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Recreate Fitness

Around October of 2009 while recovering from an injury I incurred at 100 in the Hood I was introduced to this unique Portland, Oregon gym named Recreate Fitness by my wife Erica.  After choosing some initial one-on-one training Erica then moved on to some of the group classes.  She continually came home and told me about the creative crossfit-type style and focus on technique that owners Nathan and Tina Jeffers prioritize.

I decided to check it out myself with the intention of building a nice solid foundation while gradually upping my running mileage.  Right from the get-go I was intrigued by the complexity of movements and exercises and realized that I could use a little firming up in lacking areas. What I started realizing was that I was getting very strong (something greatly needed in ultra running) and that my injury had completely disappeared.  So I kept going to the classes which are offered at many different convenient times (See schedule HERE) and simultaneously started increasing my running.  Long story short I went on to have a strong and very successful running season...actually my best one yet....and I feel that building a base at Recreate aided me in that process.

So fast forward to December 2010 and after taking a month of down time from running to repair and recuperate I thought of how I was going to get back into shape for hopefully another stellar season.  It didn't take long for the light bulb to come on and for me to head on down to the gym which is located on NW 19th Ave here in Portland, Oregon.

Some of the things I like best about this gym are:

  • Class structure (warm-up, skill, and workout...see blog for examples)....and...Creative exercises (I like to call it incidental exercise because sometimes you don't even realize you're working out till the next day when you're super sore!  (i.e. shaking large ropes, throwing large sand bags, walking around on your hands w/ a wheel attached to your feet, etc.!)
  • Friendly and committed owners and trainers who are there working with you and encouraging you with tips and motivation.
  • I like the fact that you can make every workout as easy or as difficult as you want it to be...Your choice!
  • Great sense of community in the gym between members, owners, pets, kids, etc. (we've brought our baby Farah to the gym a handful of times!) and they even do get-togethers outside of classes such as "movie night".
  • Full body strength and endurance workouts focusing on technique, form, and strength of core.  Perfect for any athlete!
After working out there the past few weeks I have noticed an increase in strength and it really kick-started my training.  I'm really looking forward to getting back to Portland after the holidays to continue my training at this thriving little gym.  They even started a mobility class which I think is great for runners which I will probably take at least once a week.  So if you are in the area and want to break out of a workout "rut" then you should join me down at Recreate Fitness.  Hope to see you there!

Click HERE for website information, etc.

(feeling the burn at Recreate Fitness!)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Udo's Choice- Green Blend (Product Review)

(Make your mom proud and eat your greens!)

Over the past few months I have been able to try more and more of the Udo's Choice quality products.  Many people have heard about Udo's Oil (which I regularly take), but not many people that I've talked to know about the many other products offered by this growing company.  HERE is a link to a website where you can learn more about everything from the conception of the product and company to all the different products and nutritional information.

This featured "Green Blend" has been another "regular" in my dietary regimen and I absolutely love the ingredients and benefits.  As a vegan athlete I am surely consuming loads of leafy greens and vegetables but this product offers much more in a convenient power-packed powder.  In the past I have been known to stuff lots of various types of greens into the Vita-mix along with fruit and other favorite ingredients to make a nutritionally loaded shake.  Lately I've been saving the greens for salads and other recipes and instead adding 2 tablespoons of Green Blend to the smoothie.  This is a product I highly recommend!  Let me know how you like it....and take a look at all the killer ingredients and nutritional information below:

Supplement Facts
Serving Size: 1 tbsp. (8 g)
Servings per Container: 31
Amount Per Serving% Daily Value
Calories from Fat10
Total Fat1.5 g*
Polyunsaturated Fat1 g*
Total Carbohydrate4 g1%
Dietary Fiber2 g8%
Protein2 g4%
Phosphorus63 mg6%
Magnesium30 mg8%
Potassium134 mg4%
Potassium134 mg4%
Omega 3 Fatty Acids500 mg*
Omega 6 Fatty Acids300 mg*
*Daily value not established.
Other Ingredients: Each 8.9 oz. (255g) contains a proprietary blend of: Udo''s Choice powder (specially prepared mix of certified organic defatted flax seed, certified organic defatted sunflower seed, certified organic defatted sesame seed, rice bran, oat bran), barley grass, certified organic golden flax seed, alfalfa leaf, rice bran, carrot, sprouted soybean, tomato, oat grass, rye grass, beet, cinnamon bark, stevia leaf, peppermint leaf, ginger root, bilberry leaf, spirulina, bee pollen, dulse, chlorella, broccoli, parsley, kelp, hawthorn berry, milk thistle, burdock root, red clover kale, licorice root, chrysanthemum flower, yucca, almond flavor, lemon grass, Udo''s Choice Digestive Enzyme Blend (amylase, protease, glucoamylase, invertase, malt diastase, lipase, cellulase, lactase, pectinase, bromelain, beet juice, American ginseng, ginkgo extract, psyllium, slippery elm,artichoke, dandelion root, dandelion leaf, rosemary thyme, sage and standardized grape seed extract.
Free Of
Wheat, soy lecithin, malto-dextrin, GMO, fillers, binders or other non-nutrient ingredients


Take approximately 1 tbsp. (14g) with glass of liquid up to three times daily. Drink plenty of pure water throughout the day.

Remember the cartoon Popeye the Sailor man and how and why he got that boost of strength and energy???  Eat yo Greens!  :-)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Down-Time is Done!

(Thankfully I don't subscribe to this line of thinking! It has actually been a great off season :-)

While tracking the hyped up North Face Endurance Challenge 50-miler last weekend (a race I was supposed to be at) I realized a few things.  For one I felt that I made a wise decision in not trying to push a banged up achilles tendon, and two...I realized that my body and mind so appreciated the time off!  With exactly one month of not even running one mile I feel so rejuvenated and am raring to go as I start back tomorrow.  I spent the first two weeks of my break doing completely nothing (physical activity wise) and the last two doing some active recovery that included snowshoeing, snowboarding, and some classes at Recreate Fitness (a crossfit-type gym) here in Portland.

As for the new year quickly approaching the race calendar is getting more and more revealed.  First off I did not get picked in the random lottery yesterday for Western States 100 but I am in two more lotteries over the next couple months (Miwok 100k and Hardrock 100).  We'll see what happens.....regardless there are a ton of killer races out there so it's a win-win situation.  I am so stoked to get back to the trails tomorrow and have some exciting visions for 2011.  Stay tuned!

I'll leave you with a video of a bluebird day out at Mt. Hood this past Friday.  It really doesn't get much better than the day William Emerson and I had.