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Trails and Travails

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Re: Trails and Travails

Post  John Kilpatrick on Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:48 pm

Mike - did you read the posted interview from Jurek? I am definitely not a vegan and never will be, but it certainly seemed to work with him. I don't want to get in your business as only you really know you, but it sounds like you are teetering maybe on the edge of image vs health? Again, I don't presume to know what is best for you, but you work out like a fiend and need to refuel sometime. Maybe it is not as much of an issue as how much but more of an issue of what? I know you'll figure out what's best, but I wouldn't let it weigh on you too much.... If you are doing it for overall health, then good luck. From what I can tell, you are pretty much a model of health!

Oh, and I can't think of a White Russian without this popping into my head: If you start looking like this, THEN you might need to worry about your stomach!



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Re: Trails and Travails

Post  Schuey on Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:54 pm

John Kilpatrick wrote:Mike - did you read the posted interview from Jurek? I am definitely not a vegan and never will be, but it certainly seemed to work with him. I don't want to get in your business as only you really know you, but it sounds like you are teetering maybe on the edge of image vs health? Again, I don't presume to know what is best for you, but you work out like a fiend and need to refuel sometime. Maybe it is not as much of an issue as how much but more of an issue of what? I know you'll figure out what's best, but I wouldn't let it weigh on you too much.... If you are doing it for overall health, then good luck. From what I can tell, you are pretty much a model of health!

Oh, and I can't think of a White Russian without this popping into my head: If you start looking like this, THEN you might need to worry about your stomach!



That's classic John! Basketball
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Re: Trails and Travails

Post  Mike MacLellan on Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:05 pm

Julie wrote:I wanted to recommend a book called Intuitive Eating. Maybe not everyone is up for eating that way but it's basically getting in touch with your body's cues of hunger and fullness and eliminating binges because you know the food will always be there when you're hungry, no diets, no cold turkey anything. Most binges stem from deprivation, from everything I've read and experienced.

I know it can be a sensitive topic, but I just wanted to offer something that has helped me and I mean this in the nicest way so I hope it came across that way.

Julie, I in no way took any offense to your suggestion, and I appreciate you posting here with your experiences (decided to leave them out of the quote in case you ever need to go edit that post for some reason). Going to address this quote below:

John Kilpatrick wrote:Mike - did you read the posted interview from Jurek? I am definitely not a vegan and never will be, but it certainly seemed to work with him. I don't want to get in your business as only you really know you, but it sounds like you are teetering maybe on the edge of image vs health? Again, I don't presume to know what is best for you, but you work out like a fiend and need to refuel sometime. Maybe it is not as much of an issue as how much but more of an issue of what? I know you'll figure out what's best, but I wouldn't let it weigh on you too much.... If you are doing it for overall health, then good luck. From what I can tell, you are pretty much a model of health!

John, there's definitely an element of image involved, but I really do try not to pay attention to that as much... It's more that I know certain things are pretty awful for my body, and I want to be fueling myself with food that is, well, food. The whole Michael Pollan idea of: if it comes from a plant, eat it, and if it's made in a plant, don't. But you're absolutely right that I need to refuel, and if I'm being realistic, I'm usually about 1500-2500kcal "down" for the week on the days where I raid the pantry. I'd just prefer to be doing that eating throughout the week, with smarter choices, than all at once with a box of Oreos and jar of peanut butter.

To address something both of you touched on: deprivation. John didn't directly mention it, but he mentioned veganism. I'm not at all saying that veganism is deprivation, because until very recently, it wasn't for me (I've been vegan for 8 or 9 years now). But like I said, recently, it's become less of an empowering decision and more of a depriving one. I don't crave meat or cheese or eggs (okay, a caveat: I eat eggs from family-raised chickens, such as those my brother keeps), but over the last year, my thought processes about food have swung drastically.

I used to be die-hard about this whole veganism thing. "Everyone should respect my decision, and I'll be pretty mad if they're not willing to accommodate me." That type of thing. Now I look at that attitude and have one word for it: stupid. Or another: alienating.

Since reading about modern farming practices and food issues (not just vegan-related, but also some books that make strong arguments against the amount of grain we eat) and since I've begun to cook and actually pay attention to what goes in my mouth, I've gone from looking at food as purely fuel to something that has extremely strong and powerful social and cultural implications. Habit has really been what's kept me vegan since I've started thinking about this. That, and a bit of... Guilt? I don't know. I feel like I'd be letting someone (who?) down if I were to stop being vegan. But at the same time, especially since I've started dating Aileen (formerly known as ladyfriend) and since my grandmother passed away, the training wheels have fallen off and I'm riding straight towards an intersection. Let me explain.

Aileen's parents are Cuban and Basque, which means there's a fair amount of meat going around in that house. Their cooking is actually very healthy, and both have been extremely gracious when I'm around, cooking not just a vegan side dish, but an entire entree, sometimes just for me. The family is just as likely to be eating a vegan (or at least vegetarian) dinner when I'm around as they are to be eating meat. But they're also proud cooks (her father more than her mother) and use food as an expression of love (her mother more than her father), both of which really hit home with me. They want their food to be eaten and enjoyed, not just gulped. And I want to respect that, to respect the food that comes with their culture. I know they really don't care that much that they have to leave out the meat for me, but I do.

With regards to my grandmother, the one memory I kept reliving during her funeral was when she made zucchini bread for me and my brother shortly after we went vegan. She mailed his to him at college, whereas my loaf went home with me after a holiday gathering. Granted, my parents were just as happy to eat it as I was to give it to them (and it wasn't entirely mine, anyway), both my brother and I were offended - yes, offended - that she had "disrespected" our dietary habits. Again, I look back on this and think: stupid. Really, really fucking stupid. Like me, like Aileen's mother, and like many, many people, my grandmother cooked as an expression of love. I didn't know this until the funeral, but she used to have huge dinner parties with members of her church every single month. She worked in the kitchen all day to make her famous Polish dishes, and those who attended had fond memories of those dinners. I just remember the zucchini bread.

...So, this blog has become a bit of a food manifesto, it seems. And I suppose that the timing of this entry is appropriate: I've just eaten an egg from a friend of a friend's chickens. And I've got two more left, with assurances that there will be free, fresh eggs available any time I want them. I'm already searching for my grandmother's zucchini bread recipe.

---

Oh, I ran today. Fridays are usually "off" days, but today felt like an "on" day when I woke up. I couldn't decide what I wanted to do: I wanted to go on a bike ride, but not alone. I didn't want to run 13 miles (tomorrow's scheduled run) and just bump the weekend up a day. So I ran 5. Yep, just 5. It felt weird to be leaving the house with such a small number in mind. Threw in a few hill sprints at the end for good measure, alternating between forefoot striking and midfoot striking each time. Midfoot feels better, faster.

A mile into the run, I realized that I was going to go on a bike ride as soon as my post-run meal settled. And now, it almost has.
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Re: Trails and Travails

Post  Mike MacLellan on Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:09 pm

Oh, and John, totally ecstatic that the Dude has now graced my blog. I really didn't see the appeal of that movie, but loved the character.
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Re: Trails and Travails

Post  John Kilpatrick on Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:19 pm

Mike MacLellan wrote:Oh, and John, totally ecstatic that the Dude has now graced my blog. I really didn't see the appeal of that movie, but loved the character.

It is a completely stupid movie, but a great character. I am going to have to reread the food manifesto again. Your Grandmother sounded pretty special.

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Re: Trails and Travails

Post  Alex Kubacki on Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:21 pm

Mike those are nice words about cooking as an expression of love.
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Re: Trails and Travails

Post  Kenny B. on Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:39 pm

Mike MacLellan wrote:Kenny, you've articulated perfectly what I've been trying to figure out how to say to myself. One things stands out that I know will be crucial in all of this: figuring out exactly what that purpose is. Ultimately, I know it's physical (and mental) health. But sometimes it's hard to think about how much healthier I'll be 10, 20, 30 years down the line if I make (and keep) small changes now, and I second guess if it's "worth it." I suppose the immediate benefits of feeling physically better, as well as learning to unwind from the day in a more productive manner, will have to see me through. Thanks for the words of wisdom.

The purpose of life is to know yourself, create yourself, experience yourself as Who You Really Are.

May I suggest a book to you called "Conversations with God - Book 1" - Neale Donald Walsch

I think you find this quite helpful on your journey!
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Re: Trails and Travails

Post  Mike MacLellan on Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:25 pm

John - Don't let the zucchini bread story fool you. There were equally as many jokes and stories about how she was a bit of a curmudgeon as well. But still, that was one thing we could've connected on - we never connected on anything, really, except when I studied abroad in Italy - and it was a missed opportunity.

Alex - Thanks for reading them.

Kenny - Added to the book list.

---

Went for that ride. Enthusiasm waned slightly at the start, as my legs were more tired than I had hoped/remembered, but after a solid climb (I think I've got my climbing legs back), I felt good. Came across the 68 year old ex-marathoner that I met a few weeks ago near the top of the hill. Passed him on the initial descent, but then he got into his aerobars and I didn't even bother chasing. Guy is strong as an ox. He was out of sight within a minute or two.

Did a couple untimed "muscular endurance" intervals. I don't know what the running equivalent of these would be - maybe MP on a gradient? Basically, you're supposed to keep your cadence at 80-90 (for me, that's really low, but for most people, that's normal or only slightly low) and stay in the saddle, turning over a decently big gear and keeping your HR/power in zone 3. Zone 2 is "aerobic" and zone 4 is "subthreshold," so this is slightly above aerobic threshold, but not yet getting into high levels of lactic acid production. Slightly uphill is best, but flat or slightly downhill is okay, too. The purpose of this is exactly what it sounds like: to build up muscular endurance. It's supposed to be taxing on your muscles rather than your aerobic system, and I know that this is one of my limiters on a bike. My lungs/heart will outlast my legs on a bike any day of the week. Running, they're about even.

Since I don't have my HR strap, I have no idea if I was really in that zone or not. I know that I was picturing my legs as pistons and using them as such, leaning over onto the hoods so that all of my power was going straight down into the pedals, and that's good enough for me. I think I did 3-4 of these intervals.

Overall, 1:30:00 exactly for the ride. Mild crosswind most of the time. Sunny and warm and nice.
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Re: Trails and Travails

Post  Julie on Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:35 pm

sounds like a good workout!

I offended my grandma more than once not wanting to eat stuff she cooked. Now I feel really badly about it and fortunately she is still alive. I didn't realize how complimented someone could feel when you eat their food and say you like it (which she is really a good cook, too).
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Re: Trails and Travails

Post  Mike MacLellan on Sun Jun 26, 2011 3:57 am

Julie - Yep, it's definitely something I've learned in the past couple years...

---

Once again, there's a fun back-story involved with today's run. And it starts at... Well, a couple weeks ago. But to save some time, it starts yesterday at around 4:30pm. Aileen's cousin was getting married yesterday, and when the announcement first came out, there were two reasons that she didn't invite me: first, I hadn't really spent much/any time with her family at that point; second, her ex was likely to be there, and she wanted to avoid an awkward situation.

Both of those situations were cleared up a week or two ago, and after getting a number of "wish you were here" texts throughout the day, I got one that said, "Want to come to the reception?" So, I ended up going to a wedding reception last night.

Run-relevant details from the evening: quite a few beers, 3:30am oatmeal and pancakes (carb-loading for the back-to-back longs this weekend!), and a 6:30am bedtime at the reception venue (a family member's house). Woke up today at noon. Ate more oatmeal for breakfast. Then the groom's party (who had also slept over) wanted to go to the beach, so we ended up there around 2:30. Didn't leave the beach until 6:15. My entire lunch was two bites of banana and half of an apple core. Strangely, I wasn't hungry. I think the pancakes settled nicely and kept me relatively satiated throughout the day.

Hunger hit when we got back to Aileen's, but I decided to wait until I got home to eat. Got home at 8:45. Cooked up more oatmeal (gotta love the stuff) and an egg (friend of a friend's chickens!) with coffee. And I still had it stuck in my head that I was going to run. My enthusiasm waned after I ate, then came back, then waned... I finally decided to just change, lace up, and see if I could force myself out the door.

So, I started a 90-105 minute run at 9:45 tonight. After 3 miles wondering what the fuck I was doing, I hit an awesome groove and just opened up my stride to a really comfortable GA effort. That turned out to be around marathon pace. Everything felt really good until mile 10 or 11, at which point my hamstrings and knees started bitching (the grade bumped up to about 2.5% at this point, too) a little bit.

All in all, 14.63 @ 7:15 average pace (1:46:00 total time). Pretty zippy run. RPE for the run was easy+ until the uptick, then up to moderate, with the last mile at what felt like "tempo" effort.

Catching up on the recent track and field finals until sleep catches up to me. Two hours scheduled for tomorrow. Hoping to get some extended hill repeats (~1 mile @ 8-10%) in.
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Re: Trails and Travails

Post  John Kilpatrick on Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:39 pm

Impressive run Mike. I don't really do anything special on fridays, but I might start carb loading a little bit if you think it works for you... I guess b/c it is so hot, after a hard/long Saturday ride I am usually not very hungry but force myself to eat something so I have something in the tank for a sunday AM run... Do you ever have to force yourself to eat b/c of an upcoming workout?

Oh - and all grandparents have their curmudgeony side - probably as a result of what our parents did to them! Just think - one day that will be us!

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Re: Trails and Travails

Post  Mark B on Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:41 pm

Nice run, Mike. I assume it was on the roads, right? Doing MP in the dark on a trail would be extreme, even for you!
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Re: Trails and Travails

Post  Mike MacLellan on Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:51 pm

Hiya, guys.

John Kilpatrick wrote:Impressive run Mike. I don't really do anything special on fridays, but I might start carb loading a little bit if you think it works for you... I guess b/c it is so hot, after a hard/long Saturday ride I am usually not very hungry but force myself to eat something so I have something in the tank for a sunday AM run... Do you ever have to force yourself to eat b/c of an upcoming workout?

I don't really carb-load on Fridays; I was just making a joke out of the wee-morning-hours pancakes and oatmeal. Still, I think as my training ramps up and these back-to-back (from now on: b2b) weekend longs start building past 2 hours each, I'll do a little bit of carb loading Thursday night through Friday afternoon. Not a tremendous amount, but probably 800-1000 extra calories so I'm not in a huge deficit after the weekend.

With regards to pre-workout meals... Normally I eat breakfast, wait for the latte to do its magic, then head out. That's usually 1.5-2 hours after I finish eating. If I'm doing a double, I try to schedule it so I can stick to a meal every 3 hours, as I'm usually hungry every 3 hours no matter what. If for some reason I'm not hungry or that doesn't work out, I'll eat a banana or granola bar 15-30 minutes before the workout and carry extra fuel with me. More often than not, I'm not too much more hungry/low energy during the workout, but I'm ravenous after. So it balances out.

Mark B wrote:Nice run, Mike. I assume it was on the roads, right? Doing MP in the dark on a trail would be extreme, even for you!

Yep, on roads. Sidewalks, actually (an obvious clarification, I know, but my mom did [with sincere and adorable concern] ask, "Is that safe? I mean, don't you run on the street?").

To be honest, I'm kind of a wuss when it comes to trails at night. I don't like rustling bushes and not being able to see what's making the noise. And I'd rather not wear a headlamp (I guess red would be nice, but I don't know where mine is), so unless it was a clear night and a full moon, I'd be blind. But I'm thinking this night running might become slightly more normal, and I may explore some trails in Auburn under the cover of darkness.
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Re: Trails and Travails

Post  Mike MacLellan on Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:57 pm

Ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch.

Let's talk about bonking while running: it sucks. Let's talk about losing ~10lbs water weight while running: it sucks. Let's talk about combining the two during a 2-hour sufferfest in 80+ degree weather with NO fuel or water.

14 miles with a 4 minute positive split during the second half. 4x .5ish mile hills at 8-10% (220' gain each) and some extended (2 miles @ 3%) climbs. Total of 1.8k' gain/loss. Got home and ate a lot, drank a lot (water + salt), and now it's time to nap a lot.
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Re: Trails and Travails

Post  Michael Enright on Sun Jun 26, 2011 7:02 pm

You gotta hydrate at that distance in that weather.

I actually had to beg some water in early May on a long run that I shortened due to dehydration!

Nap well...
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Re: Trails and Travails

Post  John Kilpatrick on Sun Jun 26, 2011 7:11 pm

Mike MacLellan wrote:2-hour sufferfest in 80+ degree weather with NO fuel or water.

14 miles with a 4 minute positive split during the second half.

I'm surprised you were able to hang with the run with no water. That would make me say uncle long before 14 miles... We can't have the beast down - be careful out there.

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Re: Trails and Travails

Post  Julie on Sun Jun 26, 2011 8:14 pm

Great long runs but sorry about the no fuel/no water deal. Do you carry a fuel belt/water bottle/anything?
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Re: Trails and Travails

Post  Mike MacLellan on Sun Jun 26, 2011 8:19 pm

Michael and John - I know, the whole strategy of "I'm training for the Grand Canyon by not drinking water or taking food and running in the middle of the day" was a little stupid. Ill-advised at the least. I did manage to find a water fountain and get a couple of gulps down and dunk my head around the 10 mile mark; neglected to mention that. Even debated taking the CamelBak. Next time, I will.

EDIT: Julie - No water/fuel belt. Too cheap to buy one... But I do have a CamelBak that I take on long trail runs. I have no idea why I didn't today.

Here's the elevation chart for today. The climb intervals are just the steep parts (9% for the first/third, 10% for the second/fourth), and you can see the longer climbs (only 3%, just looks steeper because of the scale of the chart) leading up to first/third. My paces were 1:00/mile slower on climbs three and four than they were on climbs one and two. Effort level was approximately the same. Now THAT'S bleeding time.

EDIT #2: I lied. The steep part before climbs 1/3 is 6.6%. Before that is 1.7%.

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Re: Trails and Travails

Post  ChasMcG on Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:07 pm

Your hill is way bigger than my hill. Very Happy

Great running/biking! Amazing drive you have man. You're insane! But awesome!

And...you like her. I love you
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Re: Trails and Travails

Post  Schuey on Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:55 pm

Alright I'm not going to lie, I need to spend a day and get caught up on all your blog post. Were the heck have I been?
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Re: Trails and Travails

Post  Alex Kubacki on Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:25 am

Mike, was that the Alps or Pyranees you trained on? Very Happy
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Re: Trails and Travails

Post  Mike MacLellan on Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:26 pm

ChasMcG wrote:Your hill is way bigger than my hill. Very Happy
Great running/biking! Amazing drive you have man. You're insane! But awesome!
And...you like her. I love you

Thanks Chas! I like to think that I'm just insane enough not to kill myself, but still push myself to do some things that most people would have given up on a long time ago. Like the run yesterday... I really almost quit at the bottom of the 2nd hill and just did 7 miles. But nope.

And yes, I like her quite a bit. Very Happy

Schuey wrote:Alright I'm not going to lie, I need to spend a day and get caught up on all your blog post. Were the heck have I been?

You've been oogling your upcoming 50-miler. I don't blame you. Caught up now? And why haven't I seen a blog from you yet?

Alex Kubacki wrote:Mike, was that the Alps or Pyranees you trained on? Very Happy

Ha! Those would've been a lot nicer, even if they were harder. The scenery on this run was pretty much dead brush. Some oaks, yeah, but really nothing too inspiring on the trail.

---

So, today. Aileen and I planned to ride down to the beach and grab breakfast at a vegan restaurant that her sister and brother-in-law found. I'd been there before, and knew it was worth the visit - cute atmosphere, really laid back, outdoor seating... - so she came down last night. We were out front smoking a cigarette (I know, what kind of runner smokes?!) when my neighbor (who I grew up with but haven't hung out with in years) came out with her friend and dog. The two girls were completely drunk, decided to abandon their dog walking adventure and sit in the street with us and smoke their own cigarettes.

So, a quick cigarette and post-dinner coffee turned into hanging out with them and another neighbor who I haven't seen in a while, all of us drinking and reminiscing about the street 10 years ago while the two other girls repeatedly told me how hot my girlfriend was and asked how the hell I scored someone like her.

Neither of us slept particularly well, and we didn't even finish breakfast until after 10am. So the breakfast ride became a lunch ride. We left at 11:40 or so, showed up and ate around 1:30, ate way too much (especially her), then rode the 17 miles (net elevation gain of 1k') back home. 3 hours of riding, 4 hours 20 minutes total time for our adventure. But really, it was a ton of fun, and it was pretty adorable. Average speed was glacial (don't tell her I said that), 14.5mph. But that was perfect for me, since today was a recovery day, and had we gone faster than that, a 42 mile ride couldn't be considered recovery.

Ah, summer. Smile
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Re: Trails and Travails

Post  Natalie on Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:05 pm

I'm inspired by your dedication, disappointed in the smoking, and am now craving pancakes.
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Re: Trails and Travails

Post  Natalie on Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:08 pm

Mike MacLellan wrote:

Natalie - Orange County indeed. Do you remember what trail you ran? Or the area at all? I'm guessing it was either really close to me or it was near Moro/Crystal Cove.

I have no idea. It started near a park and went up a mountain on a dirt path. I was tagging along with my husband's cousin's ex.
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Re: Trails and Travails

Post  Julie on Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:08 pm

Sounds like fun! I love summer, too. I wish I had my mountain bike handy even if it is a 5 dollar bike that is pretty junky.
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Re: Trails and Travails

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