Sunday, May 31, 2009


Bike from East Quogue to Orient Ferry and back, 80 flat miles averaging 17.5 miles per hour, normalized power 157 watts, average cadence 85 ,TSS 438,4:45 in motion 5:55 start to finish.

3 liters of water, 4 nuun tablets, 3 power gels, 1 power bar, 1 sports beans and 3 oranges.

The house I live in is for sale!

There's this Big Duck...

At the Orient Ferry, they wanted to charge
me a dollar to take my picture.
But I negotiated "for free"

I took a 20 minute power nap
under this Laurel tree, in Laurel.
This was a long lonely day, but
there is something to be said for
stopping and laying down
whenever you want.

Run 3 miles, 27:45

Green Salad, two grilled chicken
thighs, wilted spinach, quinoa
pasta with tomato sauce.
(Couldn't eat the salad, stuffed)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

fiddleheads and mussels

Mussels steamed with whole tomatoes and garlic, fiddlehead fern with olive oil, garlic and lemon, spelt pasta finished in mussel sauce, fresh green salad.

This is how i eat. I need to focus and write my post on my 'spring cleanse' tonight.

100 mile ride and some kind of run planned for tommorow, there will be photos :)

The Backyard Pool

Going to just do 1 length :)

Ok it was sooo nice in the briney i did 2 out and backs, about 35 mins. Its top of the out going tide, so when i reached the cut out to Tiana Bay i could really feel the current pullign me out, so i turned back.

That's my longest swim since February 14, felt good, and i only bumped into the dock once, sighting was pretty well right on :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Get in the Door

When I first started my sport parachute training, the static line method was still the generally accepted method of learning. In the years after I left “student status” the Accelerated Free Fall system came into favor, and I am not sure there are very many drop zones still using the “dope rope”.

The static line is a length of canvas webbing with a clip on one end, which attaches to a D ring on the aircraft floor, and a section of Velcro loops, which attaches to a corresponding section of Velcro hooks on the parachute ripcord. In my experience these static line training jumps were performed from a Cessna 305, a small single engine plane with room for pilot, jumpmaster and three students. Once over ‘the spot’, the jumpmaster signals to the first student to move toward the door, and attaches the static line to the D ring. The jumpmaster then opens the door and signals for the student to ‘get out’. The student carefully pivots on his ass and steps out onto the step, a wide metal plate over the right landing gear. He reaches forward and grasps the wing strut, walks out and drops his feet off the step, and is now hanging under the wing, looking back at the jumpmaster. On signal the student drops away, the static line draws taught and pulls the ripcord, opening the parachute container and pulling the chute out and lines taut, and finally tearing away, student now under an open canopy.

For those who continued beyond the first few static line jumps, the agenda was to get off student status, to be allowed to spot and exit the aircraft on your own, and from higher altitudes so actual freefall could happen. The static line exit altitude was around 3500 feet, whereas a majority of freefall jumps are from 13,500 feet, affording about 60 seconds of free flight before deploying a parachute. On this particular day I was taking a ride up with two static line students for a ‘hop and pop’, an exit and quick manual deployment of my chute.

You can think of the aircraft layout as like a panel van with the interior removed, except for the pilot’ seat, on the left just like a car. The exit door is on the right, just below the wing. The jumpmaster sits on the floor next to the pilot, facing the rear of the plane. One student sits behind the pilot and facing the rear, and two students sit against the back bulkhead, both facing forward. On this flight I would be the last one out, and as usual the jumpmaster would land with the plane.

As the plane neared jump altitude the pilot poked the jumpmaster, who kneeled and looked down through the door and motioned to the pilot with course adjustments. The spot to exit needed to take into account wind speed and direction so the jumpers could easily make it back to the DZ. He motioned to the jumper behind the pilot, clipped the static line in, opened the door and yelled “get out”. I couldn’t see him from where I sat, but as he dropped off the plane dipped slightly as the pilot adjusted for the change in weight distribution. One away.

The jumpmaster reached out and pulled the door closed and motioned for number two to move up. Clip in, open door, climb out, go! With the shift in weight this time the pilot overcorrected and I watched as the jumpmaster lost his balance and lurched out the door! I kneeled to move toward the door myself and saw him hanging from the strut, facing the tail. I will never forget the look of terror on his face. He was too far away to get footing back on the step, and his handhold on the strut wasn’t strong enough to hold him there long. And anyway, landing the plan with someone hanging there was not a viable option.

I kneeled and crawled forward to get a better look. I had placed my life in the hands of this man who now looked back at me with this plaintiff glare, as if I could possibly have some solution to his problem! I moved closer to the door and gauged if I could possibly reach him with a hand to help him back in, but there was just no way. I saw his attitude change from terror to sadness as he resigned himself to his position.

I had heard the pilot yelling but hadn’t really been able to make out what he was saying. I don’t think the jumpmaster could hear him from outside in the slipstream, but he did finally look over my shoulder to see the pilot gesturing. I leaned back on my legs to see him point at the jumpmaster and clearly mouth the words,

“You have a parachute”.

I will never forget the look of peace that came over the jumpmaster as he realized the solution to his problem had been with him all along.

All he had to do was let go.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Habits and Change

I haven't abandoned the cleanse process, in fact I have started with a pretty significant change to my diet the past week. I wanted to jump in here though to talk a bit about my coffee habit.

I had a pretty substantial coffee habit, drinking about 1 quart each day, usually either sitting in Starbucks reading, or working at my desk, black from a french press. As I started to look more closely at what I put in my mouth, I had to be honest and come to the conclusion that this was ALOT of coffee, and there was no real reason to be taking it in.

I wasn't sure how it would work, but last Wednesday I went a bought a box of Yerba Mate tea. This is an herbal tea which is supposed to contain a small amount of caffeine, should be a good substitute to bridge me off the juice. I drank two cups of that, and i have to say i didn't find it to be a very good substitute for my daily dose of the mother bean. I had a nice headache going, was kind of cranky and really foggy in the head. I felt like crap.

The next day I woke up feeling better, but still missing the usual morning routine. The top of the Yerba Mate box had a recipe for a 'Mate Latte'. I made a cup with hot soy milk heated with some grated nutmeg and ground clove. This was really good! More substantial than the weak tea version. This week I've instituted a new morning and evening routine, brewing up a mate latte with my oats in the morning and before bed at night.

The obvious benefit is I have greatly reduced my caffeine intake. But more than this, I've radically altered my daily routine. The warm spiced drink has enhanced my digestion, curbed my nighttime appetite and improved my nightly sleep.

I've noticed the last few days that my rosacea has flaired up in the morning. I am not sure if this is connected to the Yerba, the withdrawal of caffeine, the change in diet, or perhaps a symptom of the auto immune stuff i am dealing with. This week I am going to eliminate the Yerba Mate, replacing it with a cup of spiced soy milk morning and night.

Beyond what I am learning about the coffee/caffeine habit, I think I might have hit on some valuable lessons about dealing with habits and change.

I don't think I had much of a caffeine addiction, rather I was hooked on this comfortable daily routine that revolved around coffee. Looking at it honesty, i could see it was not in the best interest of my health and was not the best use of my time. I didnt just quit that routine cold turkey, instead i replaced it with a new routine. The new routine is healthier and less time consuming than the old one.

There's something else here about dealing with change, which i am not sure i have quite put my finger on. We all deal with changes in our lives, sometimes minor speedbumps, sometimes mountains rising to block our planned life path. The loss of control when we encounter change is I think what makes dealing so hard. I wonder if taking control and instituting our own changes elsewhere might make dealing with all change easier to handle. Can we train our minds to embrace, rather than resist change?

Anyway, no coffee for me all week, and hardly a drop of caffeine except some sports beans during the century ride last week. Super energy level, my mind is sharp. I am doing something right.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Focus on Food I

Before even addressing specific foods, here's a few general guidelines I'll follow in my new dietary routine for "spring cleaning":

As much as possible,
Eliminate non fresh foods, like canned foods, leftovers, frozen foods and processed foods,
Eliminate junk food including heavy desserts, fried foods, candy, refined sugars, processed foods, carbonated drinks, caffeine and alcohol,
Eliminate dairy,
Avoid raw foods in favor of cooked foods to aid in digestion,
Avoid cold foods and drinks and drink lots of warm water throughout the day.

As important as what I eat is when I eat it. I will stick to three meals each day with the main meal mid day when digestion is most active. The main meal will not be larger than I can fit in my two hands. After the main meal a short 'lay down' on my left side to aid digestion, then a short brisk walk. Mid morning and mid afternoon snacks to hold me over between meals. Evening meal will never be less than 2 hours before sleep.

My Basic Metabolic Requirement is approximately 2000 calories per day. Assuming 30% of calories are from protein I should take in no less than 150 g of protein a day on a day with no workouts. I will try to maintain that 30% number but if necessary will take in additional calories in the form of carbohydrates rather than fat.

I would like to lose about 15 pounds in the next 60 days, so I will need to wacth the calories closely.

Next - Focus on Food II, the shopping list

Moving Toward Balance

Last summer after Ironman week in Lake Placid, the holisticguru, Christine Lynch shared with me some information on Ayurveda, the ancient Indian science of life. Specifically she lent me a book, "Body, Mind, and Sport: The Mind-Body Guide to Lifelong Health, Fitness, and Your Personal Best" by Dr. John Douillard. He is perhaps best known for his book "The Three Season Diet", which is based on the basic Ayurvedic concept that we should eat seasonally and according to our body types.

In short, Ayurveda is based on an understanding of various complimentary cycles and synergistic properties of everything in nature. Everything from body types, to seasons of the year, to times of the day, and foods and activities best suited for each, is described by ayurvedic knowldge. Everything is complimentary or cyclical. There is no 'good' or 'bad' body type, or season, or food. These things just are, described by ayurveda without judgement. However, there may be optimal relatinships between the various parts, and putting the right things together for the right purpose at the right time can help to maximize effectiveness, performance, health and joy.

Anyway this whole topic is huge. As with many areas of knowldge, very often the lessons to be learned are too big to take in one bite. You need to absorb what you can, apply as much as you can, and probably revisit the orginal lesson and start again. Small steps. I've been applying some of what I've learned, establishing my body type or 'dosha' (Pitta), altering some of the foods I eat to compliment my type, changing the timing of my main daily meal, waking and going to bed earlier and trying to do my main excercise early in the day. None of this happened at once and none of it is complete. I am moving toward balance.

I am not in balance. I am moving toward balance.

I have been wanting to post somethign on all this for a while. It's come to the fore now thanks to the Master Cleanse post at the Live and Eat Better blog. I think for me, the idea of a master cleanse doesnt work. What I mean is, ayurveda says your body is natuarly cleansed in the spring, if you do what nature intended. That is, a low fat high fiber diet consisting primarily of fresh greens, plenty of fluids, and lifestyle changes that mirror what happen in nature in spring:with the melting of snows and thawing of ground, the fluids in the body also start flowing more freely, performing an internal cleansing routine to accelarate the flushing of toxins accumlated through the winter.

Also, through the proper selection of foods and their preparation one should promote healthy digestion to reduce "ama", or residual toxins and underdigested food remaining in the body.

Finally, through the skillfull application of lifestyle changes one should promote the rejuvination of internal bodily systems with activities like yogic breathing (for the endocrine system and to remediate stress) and stretching and massage to help restore sore and tight muscial and fascia.

The real key to this 'cleanse', though, will be to continue the positive steps into summer and through to winter. While available foods and normal activity levels vary with the seasons, the importance of watchign the body and staying in harmony with the natural world in what one eats and does shoudl remain.

Tommorow- the food.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Me and my bike, Apple Crisp, had some alone time this weekend.

We rode from East Quogue east to Sag Harbor. The bad economy hasn't completely stopped development in the hamptons. This holistic thing is really catching on.

On the way back I stopped at Duckwalk Vineyard.

People try many different methods to end suffering.

I found these Golden Beets at the organic grocery store. I thought they were a myth!

Finished 50 miles on the bike, took a shoer 2 mile run in the new hood, then whipped up dinner. Oats and red quinoa with golden beets and beet greens, lacinato kale green onions and an egg.

Although my back is still killign me, I feel strong. A good day.