Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Run, Yoga, KB SSST

Today is a full day on the dock for my training. I am thinking I am going to change the schedule around a bit once my first official week hits but at this point all systems go and I feel good into week 1 of the pre-training, training.

Morning Yoga
20 minutes of Sun Salutations, series A & B

6 minutes run/1 minute walk x 6 sets

total of 42 minutes and today I could tell my speed increased and to a comfortable pace. I felt the strongest yet and came in with a strong finish on my last set (sprinted to catch up with Mia & Jaz who ran a different route). I could feel the push and strength. I have a rest day tomorrow with the 'long' run on Friday.


90 total in 10 minutes with a few weeks off feels really good. Today, the goal was to see what I could do, so I did my first round with 3/3 and decided to go for 4/4 till the end up to the last minute where I wanted to have a strong finish both for mental and physiological reasons and that indeed happened.

Next week I hope to do 5/5 for at least 5 sets, if not the complete 10 minutes. Slow and steady is the idea as this is just a secondary aspect of my main training at this point. I plan to train the SSST one day a week through the marathon and until I can do 200 reps in 10 minutes. Ultimately I feel it would be awesome to do 250 in 10 minutes however I would be pleased with the physical and mental ability to do 200 in 10 minutes and build up to this.

I have no timetable set since my goal is the marathon but I do have a plan in which I am going to use to accomplish this with the wave progressions. There are unknowns as always but I am doing my best within my power to minimize potential issues that could arise (i.e. hand tears, and overtraining specifically).

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Cross Training Day

In the program, workout 3 of calls for a cross training day. Cycling is mentioned as one of the options and here I am going to use my own best judgement and experience, so I decided to do a Mountain Bike Ride

Mountain Bike (35 minutes)
St Joseph's Hill (2 up and 2 down, miles)

Oh yes, yet again a big layoff of over a month and here I am pushing my bike up the hill in what should have been an easy ride instead was a good workout ride and more challenging than usual. We will see how it affects my Wed run of 40 to 50 minutes and then I will be able to better determine what distance, etc. I should do next Tuesday.

30 minutes of self practice at home.

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Travelers Journey

There is just something special about traveling. What it is exactly I am not sure, I find 'it' to be a number of things. I do know that the more time I spend away and in the places I visit the more I learn and grow. Also, the more I appreciate life, my life, and all that goes with being and living in the beautiful Bay Area and the U.S.

I will be the first to say that the U.S. is by no means the perfect place or maybe even the best place to live. I have spent ample time in Europe and could find a number of great and attractive aspects of the European Lifestyle. I have yet to visit Australia or New Zealand but I am certain I will find a number of reasons to move and spend my life in these countries.

I will not eliminate the possibility of living abroad for a time in my life. In fact I am working on obtaining my Italian Passport and citizenship for that reason alone. With the passport I will have full access to the E.U. and be able to work and live freely in these countries. Options sure in the heck do not hurt when we live in this small place we called planet earth.

When you travel you realize just how close all the borders of the world are indeed and how dependent the world is upon all the world. I cannot deny that the U.S. is indeed dependent on other countries and vice versa throughout the world. Just take a peek at the tags in your clothes, the items in your grocery store, parts of your car, etc. and this is true everywhere.

Therefore when I travel I get an even deeper understanding how important it is that other countries and peoples of these lands have the opportunity to live the best live possible. As always there are many reasons why parts of the world 'suffer' but even in their suffering the do find a sense of refuge or at least many do.

However, while spending time in Central America it was hard not to notice how their 'modern' day societies and truly in fact 3rd world in the truest since. The amount of pollution, the bars on all the windows, the time roofs, pot marked walls of houses and in some cases garbage bags for walls, the pure dirt and trash covering the ground and just imagine, well this is hard to do because not even some of the worst neighbors I have witnessed in the U.S. compare to anything these people live in.

What we may fail to recognize is that the pollution and lack of sewage system and the fact that many have no toilet but instead piss and sh*t in the fields of crops, yes the same crops we in turn import and sell here is the effects it has on us. Just think, the water in beautiful Lake Nicaragua, which is contaminated by the sewage system of all the cities and towns that line its coast (and believe me this lake is bigger that Tahoe by a long shot) is then feed to the crops that feed the people of Nicaragua and other countries including ours. In fact, the US has expressed their concern and is in the process of working with the people of Nicaragua on developing a sewage system and a way to clean/protect the lake.

See, it is these type of experiences that truly ring home for me and make me realize that I am indeed a citizen of the world and I have to do my part to help keep this place, planet earth alive and healthy. I have to share my story, my eye witness accounts of these lands and hope in doing so it inspires people to act in some way, whether for themselves, their community or the community at large.

If you do not think or believe that you are a citizen of the world, open your mind, open your eyes and take a look around you. Think of the people that fill the borders of the US, where are they from originally, where do their families come from? I would be hard pressed to say I know one person who is truly a native to this land. Most people I know are 1st, 2nd or 3rd generation which means their origins are elsewhere. In fact, we all come for this place planet earth.

So, I thank all of you whom participate in my life, I appreciate your contributions for helping me to be the best I can be and put the best foot forward. Like all those I have meet, seen, etc. abroad it is a collection of all you people and these experiences that make this such a beautiful life, full of life.

Traveling abroad & spending time in places that you would otherwise may never do so; interacting with Mayans who still live a traditional life; saying hi to a stranger in a foreign land who is curious to who you are and what you are doing in their land (in many places they do not see travelers); talking to a young kid who is peddling things for money, food, etc.; Speaking 'their' language (or at least trying) all makes the experience and truly has the ability to transform.

Life for me is not about personal bests, being wealthy, having a job title, driving a BMW, owning a mansion, having a white picket fence, instead life is about living, smiling, loving, sharing, being, and enjoying each moment.

Day 2 of Pre Training Camp

Run (program called for 20 to 30 minutes)

6 minutes of running/1 minute of walking x 3 sets
4 minutes of running/1 minute of walking x 1 (similar to yesterday I was short of home and ran a few extra minutes)

22 minutes of running and 4 minutes of walking

Military Press


5, 6, 7, 8, 9

I must admit 8 and 9 were quite touch after 25+ days with no pull-ups. Military Press was light by all standards but good considering I have not lifted a bell in about the same period of time. Other than my Saturday Snatch fest with the 16kg.

Yoga (home practice)
30 minutes

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Marathon Training

Jeff Galloway Marathon Training Program (time for a 3 hour, 45 minute marathon)

I have made a small change. Realizing that the program was 29 weeks and my current schedule would leave me 2 weeks short of one of the best and most beautiful marathons I have decided that I would move my official first day to August 11th. So my first marathon will in fact be Napa Valley on March 1st, 2009.

Marathon Pre-Training Program Prep:
6 minute run/1 minute walk x 6 intervals
3 minute run/1 minute walk x 1 interval (thru this in because I was short of my house)

39 minutes of running and 7 minutes of walking for a total of

46 minutes

(goal between 40 and 55 minutes)

Report: Feel excellent and felt as if I could have kept going at this pace for quite some time.

EXTRA Workout:
40 minutes of Yoga

Workout Schedule

With my plan to do a Marathon in 2009 (the goal date is San Diego, May 31st) I am altering my workouts to the following
The optional activities like Yoga, KBs and Mountain Bike may change according to business schedule and how the body adapts, but this is a rough overview of my plan to incorporate these into the running plan. The one option that I may remove is the mountain bike, as it is the least important with the goal of the Marathon. Whereas the KB and Yoga are an integral part of my daily practice in life.

Light run (20 to 40 minutes. This times increase with the weeks but this is the basic approach)
Yoga Class
Kettlebell??? (may do Tuesday)

Cross Training
Mountain Bike Ride
Kettlebell Training??? (may do Monday)
Self Yoga Practice

Mid Distance runs (40 to 55 minutes.This times increase with the weeks but this is the basic approach )
Self Yoga Practice


Long Run
Self Yoga

Cross Training
Kettlebell (Max VO2)
Yoga Class

Mid Distance runs (40 to 55 minutes.This times increase with the weeks but this is the basic approach )
Self Yoga Practice

NOTE: Kettlebell practice will focus on the following movements (all designed to be 30 minutes or less):
*Secret Service Snatch Test training with the 24kg
*Max VO2 with the 16kg
*Military Press or Clean and Press
*Also will continue with pull-ups

What is Yoga

Yoga is said to have come into existence about 5000 years ago. By definition it stands for Union

comes this description of the Roots of Yoga

"The word Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word "Yuj" meaning to yoke, join or unite. This implies joining or integrating all aspects of the individual - body with mind and mind with soul - to achieve a happy, balanced and useful life, and spiritually, uniting the individual with the supreme.

In India, Yoga is considered one of the six branches of classical philosophy and is referred to throughout the Vedas - ancient Indian scriptures and amongst the oldest texts in existence.The Upanishads are also broadly philosophical treatises which postdate the Vedas and deal with the nature of the "soul" and universe.

However, the origins of yoga are believed to be much older than that, stemming from the oral traditions of Yogis, where knowledge of Yoga was handed down from Guru (spiritual teacher) to Sisya (spiritual student) all the way back to the originators of Yoga, "the Rishis," who first began investigation into the nature of reality and man's inner world.

Legend has it that knowledge of Yoga was first passed by Lord Shiva to his wife Parvati and from there into the lives of men."

It goes on further to say that the Aim of Yoga is

"According to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the ultimate aim of Yoga is to reach "Kaivalya" (emancipation or ultimate freedom). This is the experience of one's innermost being or "soul" (the Purusa). Then one becomes free of chains of cause and effect (Karma) which tie us to continual reincarnation. In Kaivalya one is said to exist in peace and tranquillity, having attained absolute knowledge of the difference between the spiritual which is timeless, unchanging and free of sorrows, and the material which is not.

This is considered desirable as life is analysed as ultimately full of sorrows and pain- even pleasure and joy leave pain and loss when they have gone as nothing in the material world is permanent.

Yoga is therefore a spiritual quest. However, along the path of yoga, the aspirant also gains health, happiness, tranquillity and knowledge which are indicators of progress and an encouragement to continue their practice. Buddhism and other Eastern spiritual traditions use many techniques derived from Yoga."

As a yoga student and beginning practitioner I believe that it is important to understand these concepts. The history of Yoga is an integral part in the study and understanding of Yoga and for its use. How important it is for students to understand I believe lies in the hands of the student to make that choice. No matter we all practice for our own personal reasons as it is we all do what we do in general, no significant difference.

Often people ask me what type of yoga I do, what I like, what I think of styles and why I choose to practice the forms I do and here I believe is a great explanation of the forms of yoga

"Particular styles or methods may be considered more effective than others or may suit an individual's temperament better. That said, it must always be remembered that all these are merely different methods of reaching for the same ultimate goal. They are all aspects of the overall philosophy of Yoga."

Yoga is a beautiful art, a form of movement and a way to gain a health body and mind. It is what it is, now just take your time try a few different styles and classes and see what appeals to you. If it is none, then do the meditation (which is the most important aspect in my philosophy) and if anything stretch your body to keep yourself flexible, loose and less likely to incur pain or injury due to a tight, imbalanced body.

PS: Here is a link to a recent article about the various benefits of Yoga

Friday, July 25, 2008

2 Important Books

If you want to further educate and inform yourself as well as raise some interesting questions and points of discussion on nutrition and food then here are 2 important books worth time and money.

Omnivores Dilemma by Michael Pollen

This book will discuss the politics, economics and process of Food in the US. You will learn that it is not as important as to what you eat but where it came, a question a routinely ask before purchase.

Nutritious Traditions by Sally Fallon (Weston A Price)

This will further the discussion of where foods come from and help you make choices behind what you pruchase as well as offer recipes and great education on food.

My food eating habits and purchasing habits have changed and I am not worried about calorie counts or how much fat, protein carbs and the ratios but I am focus on purchasing the highest quality foods from the best sources possible.

Some Changes I have made
*Only grass fed beef products that have been on a pasture (not pasturized or homogenized)
*Raw milk
*No pasturized or homogenized dairy what so ever including yogurt, cheese, creams)
*Soaking all grains (I primarily eat oatmeal and quinoa)
*Ensuring all veggies and fruits come from lands used with natural fertilizer and no pesticides or sprays
*Eat deep sea fish at least 2 times a week
*Incorporate wild game once a week (Buffalo, duck, goose, etc.)

This is all done at home, when we are out and about it is much more difficult to incorporate but we are conscious and we also know how to lay back, relax and just enjoy because that is another part of eating.

Side note:
Part of the reason for this is due to the fact that our bodies are not made to digest and enjoy all the nutrients that we are supposed to receive when we eat these wholesome foods. This means the value of the food is lessened and that we are starved of the key nutrients in their most natural and rare form thus our body will seek out the nutrients and we will continue to consume until we feel the satisfication, this can lead to over consumption of food and thus weight gain.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Renewed and Refocused

What a 3 week trip! Amazing what being on the road, living in other parts of the world and opening your being to new experiences can do for a person. Traveling has a way of evolving me on some many, many levels it is hard to put into words. Of course, I am not talking about a week vacation in Mexico but the big trips to foreign lands where you integrate into the society and work to live like a local. I am still digesting and on sensory overload from my experience but I will be sure to do my best in the next few days to describe, sum it all up.

Today I am getting back into the swing of home life, settling back down with some new directions, big changes occuring so just wrapping my being around all this and bringing the whole of everything together. I am going to do some exercise because it has been a while since I have truly been through a workout. I know yoga is on the ticket and either some kbs or a light run we will see how I feel this afternoon, once I finish some of the projects I have to work through.

So, the blog is back up and running and look for some changes here as well. I plan to use this form of communication to share more than just my thoughts and workouts and in the process contribute to the great good of life.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

San Marcos La Laguna

We have parked ourselves in the beautiful San Marcos La Laguna of Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. We have had the great pleasure of spending 5 days here chilling out on this gorgeous lake in all its tranquility. Imagine Lake Tahoe or Lake Como, Italy with magnificent mountains, sheer rock walls, green plant life everywhere, coffee trees up steep hillsides, native Maya people in traditional dress specific to each village/town, local ´Ladinos´and expats/extranos blending in with the cultures and people of this area.

Our town has a couple roads which typically on have Tok Tok´s running through and a care here or there. where we are situated is connected by many small dirt and cobblestone pathways with enough room for up to 2 people side by side.

Our room at Hotel Aaculaax overlooks the lake with 2 massive volcanos in the background and a couple of big villages tucked nicely into the green mountains.

Attached to our hotel is a wonderful and delicious restaurant called Lily´s. Each morning we sit in this terraced jungle restaurant having fresh coffee, tea and foods for about 2 hours, reading, talking, relaxing and then for the last 2 nights we have enjoyed fabulous cuisine made with spices, veggies, etc. straight from the garden by Lily herself. These tapa style foods are some of the best foods I have eaten, small but filling and full of life and taste that tempt the palate.

Safe to say this place has been a gem of all gems and a highlight in my 25 countries I have travelled, in the top 5 all time. We feel blessed to sit on the rocks along the lakshore staring at the massive volcanos, listening to the sound of the waves crashing on the rocks beginning energized by the glorious sun and sounds of nature.

La Vida Bella

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A quick run down of our adventure

So here is how it has gone thus far, short and sweet

After a 12:30 am flight from San Fran which came by way of a 6 hour drive from Mt. Shasta we landed in houston where we slept on the floor waiting our next flight. We landed in Panama City and headed to another airport or we thought as the driver took us to the bus and we were hoping to make another plane flight to Bocas Del Toro. We successfully purchased tickets and arrived in Bocas, got a quick tour of Isla Colon and were lead by Antonio to Isla Carenero via a check in 5:30 pm

After a day and half we went to Isla Colon planning to hang on a beach and make our next plans. At the airport we found that our plane we wanted to Costa Rica left in 45 minutes and it would be 2 more days till the next plane our about 15 hours by the next day. So off to the hotel we just checked in (a dump) and a refund and on to the plane to San Jose, Costa Rica. Next we took a taxi to the international airport hoping to catch a flight but 350 US $ per person detered us so off to another bus station to Liberia for a quick overnight stay before heading to Granada, Nicaragua. Again we found ourselves in a sh%t hole of a place but for a quick nights sleep it worked (sleep was not on the menu, the rooster crowed all night long, yes Rooster).

Morning and off to the bus station for a quick juant to Nicaragua, but this seemed to be an issue with conflicting schedules, times, etc. so we jumped a local bus to the border which was an old bluebird school bus, not bad. Then a 2 hour wait to get our exit papers and then to the nicaragua border to get our stamp and another bus to Granada. We got a local hookup via our Spanglish and be friending the local guy from the centro of tourismo and off we went. The only problem, I had to stand for the whole 90 minute ride, not bad but when you have been traveling for 26 hours you know it.

Ah, Granada is magnificent and a joy. We treated ourselves to a nice hotel, cheap in nicaragua which is why but would have easily been over $250 us dollars in the states. We ate some great food, walked the beautiful old colonial streets admiring the architecture and the kind people and all the hustle and bustle. Reminded me of an old European Town.

Off to the races, another trip to a bus station which lead to another station and a ride to Managua where we had 5 minutes to transfer buses for the long ride to Honduras captial Tecuichigalpa and an over night stay in the crime ridden capital city where I was advised to not walk 3 minutes to get some food because "malo attencion" and muy peligriso. So starving we slept 5 hours took a taxi to the airport for a 530 am flight across Honduras all to jump on another bus for a 3 and a half hour ride to our stop tonight, La Ceiba, a caribbean coastal town where we have a nice hot shower, good food, and an ocean view in another nice place.

And who knows about tomorrow....

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Trip update

In Nicaragua today and headed to honduras and the Bay Islands. It has certainly been a trip filled with adventure and true on the fly with no plans, just having faith and letting things happen. It is quite interesting to act without a plan in a part of the world where so much of it is 3rd world, 98% and you do not truly speak the language. However, you seem to make your way and learn as you go. Off to a big journey today with a bus ride or 2, a border crossing and a place to sleep (once we get there, we will find a place) before boarding a plane in the morning, which we hope in fact does stick to the schedule.

If you want adventure in a fun foreign land where travel is difficult but so much is untouched and unexplored this is a great place, filled with beautiful landscape and much more......

more to come, 13 days and living it up

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Living By Bending...Being Flexible, Being Like Water

A man is born gentle and weak;
at his death he is hard and stiff
All things, including the grass and trees,
are soft and pliable in life;
dry and brittle in death.

Stiffness is thus a companion of death;
flexibility a companion of life.
An army that cannot yield
will be defeated.
A tree that cannot bend
will crack in the wind.

The hard and stiff will be broken;
the soft and supple will prevail

Yet another paradox of the Tao Te Ching as presented in Verse 76 and translated by Dr. Wayne Dyer. As Lao-tzu suggests, Be Strong by bending. As an willing to be like palm trees in the midst of hurricane-force winds-their so called weakness somehow gives them the strength to survive devastating storms.

To apply to life think in terms of your thoughts and opinions, the more you relate to others and listen more, thus allowing your viewpoints to be challenged and bending when necessary, your in fact choosing strength and supple. This flexible nature will create more harmonious exchange between you and others. You will be in harmony with life and the nature of being.

Dr. Dyer in a recent interview with Oprah Winfrey speaks of EGO and says

EGO = Edge God Out

Ego is the a collection of ideas that we carry around and include :
I am what I have (what happens if you lose everything)
I am what I do (what happens when you no longer can do)
I am what others think of me (think reputation)
I am separate from everyone else
I am separate from what is missing in my life
I am separate from God

My QUESTION (spurred by Dr. Dyer)
Is the EGO worth defending? Is it worth being right rather than being open, respectful, compassionate & benevolent towards others and remembering that we all come from the same place?

Personal Reflection:
This is a follow up to Ego and I am learning to see strength and flexibility from another way, another angle. I know I have often overlooked being flexible in life, in all ways for the purpose of being strong and firm. Now I am learning that I choose to be strong and flexible in all ways, creating a more harmonious flow between myself and all the encompasses life. As Bruce Lee says, Be Like Water! See yourself in everyone.

"No tree has branches so foolish as to fight among themselves", Native American Saying

"Go through your life in a state of bewilderment", Rumi