Red 11 Sort Product Review

I generally don’t do a ton of product reviews but I don’t have any sponsors that do anti chaffing products and though why not test drive Red 11 Sport in Spain. With 28 days of training there if my flesh was gonna get raw this would be the place. I love doing extreme stuff and seeing if I can break a product.

My first though was how small it was. A nice compact tin, which was great for travel. I opened it and could tell It’s non staining, petroleum free and has a clean smell to it. It says it’s for nipples but most runners will tell you arms, legs and “down there” also need some protection and I put it al the place for my first long run.

I really liked the thickness. It was soft enough to go on easy but thick enough to only need to add a wee bit, in fact one tin lasted the entire month.

So after it passed the run test I figured I would try some off label uses for it. Cyclist have all kinds of creams and honestly they make me feel like I am sitting in a used diaper. I used some on the normal hot spots where the saddle friction can get bad and it worked great. I like it for cycling more than cycling products because I only had to use a thin protective layer and it left me without that wet, cold, weird feeling.

I road 500k a week, ran 100k and for the entire trip didn’t have one bit of skin that was chaffed. I also think it has some skin healing and anti bacteria elements to it that promote healthy skin generally.

You can get yours at http://red11sport.com

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The Path Of Resistance

Sign up for it. Pull the trigger sitting on the sofa in the warm comfort of your home. Reg for the hardest race of your life. It’s not just a race, that is the easy part. It’s the life change it takes to get the start; to get to the finish. Nothing about it is easy. Countless hard moments from that day until THE day. Countless cold dark mornings, cold dark runs after the sub went down. Countless rides in rain, snow or starring at clock on a wall.

That was 14 years ago. It’s been a lifetime of hard. A lifetime of work. A lifetime of not taking the easy way. It was so long ago I forgot there was an easy way. I forgot there was a path through life that wasn’t exhausting and grueling. I forgot that there was any way but the hard way. The path of most resistance. But isn’t it resistance that makes one stronger?

I would be lying to you if I said I made a choice. This life choose me. I couldn’t resist the path of resistance; like a month to a flame. I never saw the easy way because I never looked for it. I NEED this struggle because without it; I don’t know I am alive and this is my life for as long as I can remember. Did I sign up for a race 14 years ago or a lifetime? Is it an endurance event or is this life the thing we ultimately endure because it doesn’t seem like a race anymore, it just seems like existence and I wouldn’t want to be any other way.

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Strong Like Bull Training 2015 Reg Is Open

Come to SLB X!!!! Super crazy deal if you reg by 4/15/14! 985 for the whole camp! That’s a space in our awesome farmhouse and compound and food prepared by a holistic chef! Plus coaching bike mechanics, airport transportation and all the pain you want!
Reg here: https://www.bikereg.com/strong-like-bull-training-camps

For more info visit us at: www.stronglikebulltraining.com

So come or watch as we go and you sit in freezing cold and snow unable to ride your bike outside!

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Final week of training in sPain

After 14 days of training hard I wasn’t sure what the final 7 would look like and I just kept going until I cracked, then I did more. It worked out and I really feel strong as hell. Well, I felt strong, now I feel shattered but that’s what the recovery week is for! I literally drooled on myself just sitting on the plane which caused christine to burst into exhausted giggles.

Here is the blow by blow…huge thanks to Amrita for making my nutrition solid when I reach into my pocket and the support of the camp.

Friday: 1 hour run. Propose to christine / 2 hour ride up with christine on the pico. Not the hardest ride but, ya know, we got engaged! (3)
Saturday: 6 hour Zone 2 ride (6) (9) longest ride at that point and just kept it’s base and it went down ok.
Sunday: 3 hour ride with local team. Race like and brutal. 1 hour “run” legs trashed. (4) (13) they had a local stud who could hammer and I had good legs and was over 300 watts much of the time. It was perfect hard intervals. Super hard, 10-20 minutes and then we would regroup. The two of us dropped 30-50 guys repeatedly. Damn it feels good to be a gangsta :-) finally getting my cycling power up.
Monday: 3k swim/5.5 hour rid/ 30 min brick run (7) (20) all day ironman style work. Also legs cooked.
Tuesdays: 1 hour strength / 3:15 bike with many hard efforts and 5000 feet of climbing / brick run 45 minutes. (5) (25) felt good and stomped out 300-400w on most of the climbs. Kinda shocked given the lifting session before the ride and the duration of the day prior. That said alternating between long days and hard days seems to be working.
Wednesday: 1 hour swim/ 2 hour run over mountains. (3) (28) hard to rock some tourism stuff with the camp but also like 1 good run a week to keep it real. He climb was hard.
Thursday: 100 mile ride (6.5) (34.5) put in 3 good intervals but mostly base and my longest ride yet. Last day so just wanted to wreck myself generally so tossed in the hard efforts. Mission accomplished. I am done.

Foto of us on the pico moments after I proposed.

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Week one if training in Spain

“Mi Gusta punk rock.” Spearhead

Day 1: still had school so rocked a 2:15 long run in the steep mean mountains of Granada. First legit run since the marathon and my legs protested. (2)

I Learned a ton of useful Spanish and while it’s still a work in progress I love it and love learning and practicing. The Andalusians are so encouraging and really happy to help me communicate in Spanish. They might be the warmest people on earth. I cringe when I think of how impatient New Yorkers (and maybe most Americans) treat people who don’t know English quickly, currently and fluently. Spend a week in a country where you don’t speak the langue and you will be forever patient with others. I am humbled and grateful by how much help I need and get here.

Day 2: 1 hour run in same steep mountains. So steep my calfs burned. 3 hour ride and could hardly use my seat bc the climbing was so steep, but the views were amazing. Not base work bc my watts and heart rate were through the roof. 1 hour strength session. (5 / 7)

Gonna miss Granada but excited to get to work making SLB 2014 awesome. We spent our last night in a moorish cafe and strolled up the Albayzin the ancient Gypsie quarter and through tiny streets with the El Alhambra in the watching over up. Simply sublime.

Day 3: travel to Antequera and get settled after final 1 hour run in Granada. I meet the Gypsies that live in a cave on my running route and also their dogs, all of whom were friendly.

We are traveled down the Ruta del Washington Irving from Granada to antequera. Like myself he was a New Yorker who fell in love with Andalusia. Unlike him most of my travels here is on bike.

Once in Antequera it was some time getting the cortijo all sorted out, then off for a 3.5 hour ride with more insane steep climbing as I discovered a new route and it turns out the new route is brutal. It looked so reasonable on the map! (4.5 / 11.5)

Day 4: swim 2k. First swim since, holy cow, IM Lou! It hurt. 3 hour ride looking for new routes, mostly rolling. 1 hour run. (5 / 16.5) really need a few new routes to keep fresh and to make sure we have something for everyone. Sometimes I love my job! That’s said, 30 minutes on google earth can save you a few hours when you go ride! Mistakenly didn’t realize our road home was 20k of dirt!

Day 5: 1 hour run. 2:30 ride. 1 hour strength session. (4.4 /21) tons to do camp wise. Visiting bike shop and also meeting with some locals about the future. The days fly by here! Also the cortijo has a lot of paper work. That’s new, the others didn’t seem so…legal… :-)

Day 6: big day. 2500m swim, felt way better than first. 5.5 hour ride with tons of climbing. 30 min brick run. (7 /28) again off to find new routes and found a cracker. I really think it’s better than anything we did prior!

Day 7: feeling beat. 1 hour run / 2 hour zone 2 rides / 1 hour run ( 4 / 32) so much to do! 4 hours of shopping and a bunch of other prep things. Also researching the local cultural stuff because a Antequera has a lot of it and I want to show some of the athletes it if possible. Love it but it’s hard to fit it all in!

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SPOTS FOR NYC HALF MARATHON!

2014 NYC Half Marathon
March 16, 2014
Registration Ends February 24, 2014

We have a few entries left!

OR GO ONLINE TO REGISTER

http://www.teamcontinuum.net/events/event/46

1-on-1 coaching support from our Head Coach John Hirsch, a top pro/elite champion triathlete and Ironman top-10 finisher and a first-rate coaching staff. To contact John: coach@teamcontinuum.net
Training plan and monitoring: Click here for Half Marathon Training Plan that can be adapted to meet your needs by Coach John Hirsch. He also recommends this Click here for Strength Training Plan.
Team gear.
Team Continuum pre-race party and post-race meet up.

AND …. the satisfaction of
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Wanna know how your fundraising will be used?
How Team Continuum provides direct assistance to Cancer Patients?
How much it means to their lives?

Hear directly from three of our grant recipients, and a social worker:

Granada Travel Diary

“Que voy a ser ? Je ne sais pas.
Que voy a ser ? Je ne sais plus.
Que voy a ser ? Je suis perdu.
Que hora son mi corazn ?” – manu chao

I love Spain. More accurately, I love Andalusia the southern country within the country of Spain. I have been coming here to organize www.stronglikebulltraining.com and to train since 2006 and in that time my love for Andalusia has grown with each year. I have a somewhat flexible life, and so I have been able to take time before and after most of the camps to explore, hang out, and most recently enroll in school for a week. I love learning about the culture, and learning to speak Spanish has been one of the last bucket list item held over from rougher parts of my childhood where they told me what couldn’t do. I couldn’t play music (so I toured for years with my hardcore-metal-punk band), told me I could be in anything but special ed (so I went to Columbia law school ) and told me I couldn’t learn another langue (I think I really did well this week, and held my own in my class, so they can suck it. Of course it’s been so long I don’t even recall who they are but that’s besides the point!)

So this week I have been in Andalusia mostly chilling. I couldn’t resist some trail running but with travel, and school 8 hours a day and a desire to get out and see stuff ( flaminco, local music, La Alhambra, vegan cafés, and such) I haven’t made training the focus until now. Also the training part of this trip is 22 days and I can’t train intensity more than that. This week is also still close enough to the New Orleans Marathon that I am recovering still.

So with that I wrote a travel blog.

Here is my travel blog:

Escula: The school I went to is CASTILA. It’s awesome and I highly recommend it. The class sizes are small, under 6 people and this time of year closer to 2-4. The professors are amazing. A mix of encouraging and focused. We didn’t waste any time but the whole time I felt encouraged in a positive way which given some educational hang ups I have around my learning disability I don’t think I would have responded to any other type of motivation. The grounds of the school add the experience as it’s deep in the Albayzin the ancient Roma (Gypsies) part if town. Tiny winding rock streets remind you that your neighborhood is 600-1000 years old. Sadly so does the “hot” water which is mostly warm hahahahah. The field trip to the Alhambra was amazing. I have been there a dozen times with SLB and yet going with the professor added so much to my experience as I learned so much more than I got before.

Eats: we had a few places that were asi asi ( so so) but three places were outstanding. CAFE MUNDO MANILA: is my fav. Punk and vegetarian with vegan food it’s affordable (5 euros for a meal) I felt totally at home here. I could sit in this cafe forever just watching the punks, the other people and dogs come in and out. Yeah, dogs, that’s how they roll in Granada, they roll deep with dogs which I love. The vegan hamburger is awesome as is the bread they put it on. On Friday a great party broke out and people were dancing singing and just being awesome.

HIRCURI is the lightly more upscale vegan place but no less awesome. Both me and Christine LOVED the dishes we got and the place is also a focal point for funky art which covered the walls and the skin of the staff.

KASBAR: Off of Calle Evira it’s a Moorish style cafe with an insane selection of teas and good vegetarian and non vegetarian food. But the real joy of it is sitting by candle light in a cave cafe with moorish style all around you. It was one of the first cafés I ever fell in love with, and return there annually.

Oh and you MUST get a falafel from Falafel King on Calle Evira. It looks awful from the outside but everyone knows the falafel there is freaking amazing.

THE ALHAMBRA: is one of the wonders of the ancient world. It’s history covers two major world religions and reflects the areas steep Arabic history which adds to everything here. In these times it’s an amazing reminder that the Arabic kingdom that ruled here was one of tolerance, science, art, education, architecture, economics, and law. The experience of being in this massive and stunning sprawling city within the city is sublime and one of the heights of my travels anywhere.

MUSICA: I have been searching forever for the punk/metal/eletronicia club El Tran. But sadly the line up for us was mostly stuff I wasn’t interested in and the one thing I was interested in STARTED at 2 am! I am just not that Spanish. I did however check out awesome music at Cafe MUNDO MANILA And also Flamenco at FLAMENCO ALBAYZIN which was very very good. Andalusia is the home of Flamenco and the of the four flamenco shows I have caught this one was the best. Small venue passioned performers and set in the Albayzin it was a great performance.

Ok; vacation time is over time to go train!!!!

Fotos: 1) christine looking from the Alhambra at the Pico del Veleta the 10000 foot roof of Spain that we ride on bikes at SLB! 2) The KASBAR cafe. 3) the view of La Alhambra at night.

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Rock N Roll New Orleans Pre Race/ how I already won this one

“Spanish bombs, yo te quiero infinito
yo te acuerda oh mi corazón
Spanish bombs, yo te quiero infinito
yo te acuerda oh mi corazón.” The clash

It’s the last day of January and I am within a Kilogram of my race weight. I am posting run splits I have never seen before. I am months away from the races that matter most and fitter than I have ever been this time of year. amazing I did it without over training or struggling with motivation and weather.

I took my own advice ( which I give to a lot of athletes) and did a winter run focus. It was 10 weeks. Hardly enough to find my potential in the marathon but long enough to do some serious work. and work I did. 50,60, 70, 80, 90, 100, 103 miles week. And 90, 100, 103 had sick intensity too. Oh and I won a trail marathon in the middle. Yeah, that kind of work. I also used the “free time” to get rowdy with the weight pile and do some focused work with malice and ill intentions. My legs are thick and strong and ready to ride a bike after this weekend.

So this weekend is the party. I am gonna do the Rock n Roll Marathon. I am not gonna win. In fact with the new prize purse for Rock N Roll announced some fast marathoners are coming; real marathoners, with eyes on Olympic ring tattoos on themselves one day; not triathlete fakers like me who feel like it’s weird that we skipped the swim and run. But I still hope to throw down a time that reflects my fitness and reflects well on our tribe, the tribe of multisport athletes.

I am stoked for the work I put in. I am stoked for the training times I posted. Stoked for all I learned. I learned I can rock 100 miles weeks and honestly could have upped it from there. I am also stoked for to learn a ton by racing a marathon within an ultra and seeing that scene and all the lesson I got out of that in regards to pacing, fueling, tactics, frost bite prevention, training and tapering.

But regardless of how the race goes, regardless of if I go 2:45 or 3:45 I come into this week with all my early winter goals meet. I trained hard. This race is just the pay off for that work.

Huge thanks to Champion Systems for gear and extra help this weekend and also to Brooks for the sweet kicks, I love racing in the ST Racers and also to the Block Island Sport Shop which carries Brooks.

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103 mile run week

“Yo he estado aqui muchas veces antes y regreso.” – AFI

Florida 2014

As I mentioned my winter plans got changed around and I found myself wanting to do a run focus. With thanks to Brooks Running and Champion Systems I scored a trip to the New Orleans for the Rock N Roll Marathon on 2/2/14. To prep for that I did a bunch of high mileage run weeks with a 90, 100 and now 103, oh and a trail Over all, I was surprised at how well I adjusted to it. More importantly I keep a lot of fast stuff in there. After all, at this point, 15 years into ultra distance tris I don’t need more base. I don’t think New Orleans will hit all of my potential but given how much time I had to prepare, which was 10 weeks, I think I made it count. Here is the break down and notes for last week. Note that there is no gray zone training: everything was hard or easy. Hard was the track, 2 mile repeats, the 5k race and the tempo 20 plus two brutal strength sessions. The rest was super easy and about an 8:30 pace.

Tuesday: 9.5 easy nice easy trail run before the real work with the Boca Road Runners Club on the track later that night and Florida Atlantic University.

The track work was MEAN. A group of men in a pack really brought out the best in me for this one and I think I held my own. This is what we did.

1-2 mile warm up. 1:12 400,2:45 800, 4:05 1200, 2:47 800 2 minutes breaks. 1:17 400, 2:40 800, 4:14 1200. 2:48 800. 1 mile cool down. 30 minutes team yoga.

Workout 7.5 ( daily total 17) (weekly total: 17)

Wednesday: legs nicely cooked so just logged 16 miles of trails (16) (33)

Went to the gym and slayed it. I think if I was really peaking this wouldn’t have been a 90 minute attempt and hobbling myself but my main goal is Challenge in June and my first priory is strength work for that. The running is kinda secondary this time of year. But oh wow did I pay for this one. But I think it’s good to really do work at the gym. I have been to the gym with triathletes that think just by being there they will absorb fitness gains by sniffing the sweat filled air. Nope, like anything, you have to do hard work. If you want to get something out of this you have to go to the gym with malice intent and really be ready to suffer and hurt.

Thursday: 14 trails. (14) (47)
“Recovery” 2 hour run on sandy trails hahahahah. Ok maybe not but at this point 2 hours of easy trail running isn’t so bad. Legs are smoked from the gym.

Friday: (16) (63) time to get back to some real work. The point of this workout is marathon pacing and went like this:
3 miles warm up easy. 10 min, 9 min, 8 min pace.
5 x 2 miles with 1/2 mile recovery jog
12:54, 12:57, 12:47, 12:45, 12:30. 1 mile cool down.
My goal pace is 6:30 and 6:30 felt pretty comfy which was a nice boost mentally and a real confidence builder.

gym. Killed it! I have no idea where the energy came from for this (though I suspect red bull and heavy music ) but my legs came to the gym to work and I put in a big gym session. Slightly favoring my cycling muscles in the gym because they need it most but also rocking all the running muscles.

Saturday: 14 trails. (77)
Another two hour “recovery run” in sandy trails. I really need to rethink what I think of as recovery!

Surf session!!! Soul and mind purified.

Sunday:
AM: no surf. Surf Gods are fickle.

Pm: easy warm up + 5k (6) (83) this was so stupid it was smart. This was meant to be a true recovery day but we jumped into a local 5k. It was a pretty exciting race. The start line was a mosh pit with people elbowing for the front. I was kinda surprised as normally the number of people that think they are front row worthy is smaller than the number of people that fit there. The first 200m was crowded but by 800m it was the leader, me and two other guys and all the pushy front row types were back where they belonged.

At mile 1 the winner had dropped everyone and I got passed twice and went to 4th. we ran the first mile in 5:26. My mind new this was too fast but I felt good so I just kept running hard and by 2k one guy that passed me was blowing himself up and I moved to 3rd. I felt ok and surged to catch 2nd and then surged again to pass him and put in 10 seconds. But the early efforts took it out of me and I positive split the race badly but kicked in the final 200m to keep a nice gap on 2nd and finished in 17:42 which is kinda surprising given this was miles 78,79 and 80.1 of the week.

Interestingly according to machines they tell me I should run a 2:50 or better marathon based on that 5k time. They also tell me Skynet has become self aware.

Monday: 20 miles with tempo (20) (103)

I woke up wicked tired and was curious how this might go. My confidence was good based on the other workouts so I knew if this went badly it wasn’t the end of the world. I took the first two miles out easy as a warm up and ran 8 minute miles. Then I ran 8 miles in 57:22 which is like a 7:12-15 pace. This was very encouraging because that’s only 45 seconds over my goal pace and it felt smooth. Again pretty surprising with all the other work I did this week. But the real work of this 20 comes from miles 10-18 which I ran in 54 or a 6:45 pace with the final two miles in 6:30 and 6:15 which were miles 100 and 101 for the week. Again, pretty encouraging. The last two miles were a cool down and shake out and a jump in the idea and then it was a rap.

Taper time.

Foto: Pa, Christine and Me with some local hard wear.

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run camp day 1 and 2.

“Sleep fine at night and wake up to a an early speechless morning.” Helmut

Before I start with the what, I think it makes sense to answer the why. Why a run camp. First, my season ended early in general terms so it started early in general terms and by New Years when most people are just knocking the dust off I was pretty fit. Not super fit, but 6-8 weeks into a very focused training program and I did some serious nutritional work thanks to @holisticguru (see her twitter)

I was originally going to race at Bone island an ironman distance race on 1/26/14 but then Challenge came along and it was a bigger fish so I decided to focus on that instead. That said it was far enough away that without a short term goal I feared a motivational gap in the winter months. At ever level motivation and focus is THE most important element of any training program. We do this with our minds more than our bodies.

So I picked a super short term goal, the Whaching trail marathon and then I wanted to do either an ultra marathon or a road marathon. My thinking was split: I loved the challenge of something new like an ultra but I also love the idea of running a marathon and seeing what I can do even if it’s only on 8-10 weeks of training. Plus a faster race like a road marathon seems more likely to pay off for Challenge.

The training And run camp isn’t aimed at either really, it’s aimed at Challenge but the race is the reward along the way. I tried to tell myself as hour 4 of the 5 degree snow covered trail marathon approached that this was the reward, but at the time I was thinking a hot tub, a pile of strippers and a pizza is a more proper reward and I need to rethink my whole idea of suffer as a reward for suffering.

But I digress. My run has not been as good in 2012/2013 and I want to put a bit of early season effort in to get it back into the low 3 hour range at ironman. Also, I love running and the idea of a run focus got me all excited and as we started with, mind ones motivation.

So day 1 and 2 were the “transition”. Day 1 we traveled and hit the trails here in Boca, Floridah for an hour. Day 2 was a double run day of 1:50 total run time all easy. I want to shake off some of last weekends marathon before putting in a solid 7 which starts today. That said I was back to work 48 hours after the marathon which I credit to Amrita recovery bars. I hammered one at the finish line then ate them daily for increases protein and came around much quicker than normal. Also the maca they put in them helps deal with that exhausted over cooked feeling (it also made me want to spend a bit of my post free time with my girl friend, if ya know what I mean WINK).

There is also a sneaky second purpose here. This time of year a lot of athlete test the waters with things off limits. Like a married woman with her personal trainer sometimes we want to flirt even if we know we are going to stay true. In this case I want to know what happens if I do multiple high mileage weeks. My future in ironman as a pro is short, and long term I am eying some new adventures in sport and ultra running is one I am flirting with and this training is me making a pass that sport. Does this hydration fanny pack and beard make me look fat?

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