Had a great time in two great communities this morning. Made the short drive over to Johnson City, TN and made a big time of it at the Tweetsie Trail Trek.
It was the grand opening of an all new, crushed rock greenway that connects Johnson City and Elizabethton. I wanted to double up on the fun, so I arrived around 7 am, got my race pack (thanks Daniel Reese for holding my pack from pick up the night before) and then ran the 4.5 mile segment from the finish to the start point in Elizabethton. When the race commenced, I ran the return leg back to Johnson City.
It was a great old school start with local politicians, a rendition of "God bless America," a ribbon cutting for the trail, a prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance, the Star Spangled Banner, then the start...which was a blast on the whistle from a Tweetsie locomotive.
Runner went first, then walkers, and later in the day. cyclist. It was an "all in" event for everyone who wanted to participate.
The Tweetsie Trail links two vibrant communities. The path is picturesque, with periodic shaded areas that will shout fall colors in just a few weeks. Some parts of the trail are connected over road with wooden bridge structures. All new and the smell of fresh cut wood was in the air.
I'm not a short distance runner, so it was fun to double up and at least get nine. I enjoyed meeting a variety of people and hanging out at the finish area...apples and donuts and health food mix, several of the local bike shops had displays, and live bluegrass music. The finish also showcased the new Johnson City community center and surrounding property.
I enjoy engaging America, taking it a small slice at a time. Running is the glue that makes it stick.
I'm fairly deep into phase two of summer; that's the part where I pay penance for travel and out of control eating. I teach a summer session course, while the rest of my time is mine. That time is usually invested into eating like a social pariah and putting in 2-4 hours of base exercise a day.
But here's the interesting part: This time around, I'm using the same tactics that worked in that past two summers but I'm not getting the results. Simply doing the calorie math (3500 cals = one pound) I should be dropping more weight. But in reality, I'm only down 7 pounds and 1% body fat over three (3) weeks of penance.
When I wrote Mind Over Diet, the premise was that each of us needs to engage the content that is available, vet the facts, then decide on our own accord what the best plan will be. Engagement = knowledge = power.
So on this day, I'm circling back to more information, more pathways that might allow me to bust out of this plateau and reduce. Google+ gave me the jump start I needed, through a post by Neila Rey: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+NeilaRey/posts/MZEGd4Jr1L5. That led to a response post that stated:
If you want something thats laid out perfectly for you that I've found to be unbelievably effective, look into Ashley Conrad's 21 day clutch cut. It's absolutely perfect and 100% attainable. -Holly Yeoman, NASM certified Personal Trainer
So, I ventured into the material by Ashley Conrad and downloaded her free PDF. That led me to revisit breakfast prior to working out...something I never do. It also revived my self-negotiated debate regarding protein intake; Ashley says 1 gram per pound of weight per day.
There's no right or wrong, just relentless forward motion. Social media has some of the answers, if you mine it judiciously and search for gems.
I was doing a solo ride last night (actually, I was the last rider) on our Monday night loop out of Blowing Rock (NC) to the Blue Ridge Parkway.
As usually occurs, motorists come up from behind and need to pass. I have determined there are three (3) types of motorists under these conditions:
1) Astute driver. In this instance he/she looks for gap, gives wide berth, and safely accelerates past.
2) Unskilled driver. This individual knows they need to get around and dart into the other lane, driving right at oncoming traffic.
3) No courage driver. This segment of motorist will idle right behind the rider for a mile or more, missing several safe passing opportunities. When they finally do go around, a backup of 5-10 cars are frustrated and freight train by, creating a cyclist's danger zone.
I bring this up because some angry words were shared between cyclists and motorists on a local Facebook page. I'm sorry that we sometimes delay your day, but it's a matter of trying to recreate and also come home alive.
Let's continue the discussion. Let's keep it civil. Let's keep it safe.
So, for something completely different, I wrapped up my semester at Appalachian State and transitioned to Paris.
International travel always drives me to embrace and engage new opportunities for change. In true Mind Over Diet fashion, I needed a reboot. I was leaning into veggie Paleo and started down that path; after several mornings of hard boiled eggs and cheese I just wasn't feeling the love.
It's a digestive thing. The food products were too dense, didn't process well, and bound up in my digestive tract.
Check out this shot from today's open air market, near Place D'Italie. Wonderful, fresh, quick-through-the-system options.
And, the fresh bread here is fabulous. So the no-grains edict will also fall by the wayside.
I remain convicted in leaning into the path that works best for me, during the time and environment I exist in. Plant based eating is clean and I'll combine that with my favorite - smoked salmon baguette sandwiches . So I'll sign off now so I can load up my backpack with some of the local produce.
In one section of my new book "Mind Over Diet" I unpack the virtues of digital food. It's about feeding the brain with useful and motivational podcasts and audio books.
And there's no better digital morsel for ultrarunning than Dirt Dawg's Running Diatribe. Educator, ultrarunner, family man and all around good guy Dirt Dawg (Mike) provides an interesting and sometimes humorous outlook on all things in the ultra world...from a unique Detroit-based viewpoint.
I'm on a virtual media tour to promote my book and Mike was kind enough to bring me back for another visit:
I was last on Dirt Dawg's show about three years ago and this visit was just as fun as the last time. There's something truly satisfying in unpacking a 100 mile finish and also providing a promo for Mind Over Diet.
There are rewards in life, big and small. Being acknowledged as the master competitor by a podcast host like Mike ranks as a gem that I'll pack deep in my hydration pack and carry for a long time to come.