Monday, July 18, 2011

Meatless Monday

Running Green supports Meatless Monday, an initiative associated with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The goal of Meatless Monday is to help reduce meat consumption in order to improve public health and the health of the planet.

These delicious-looking recipes are published by the Meatless Monday initiative, and may be found at

Meatless News: Meat Eaters Guided to Meatless Monday
Today the Environmental Working Group released a lifestyle analysis of the links between meat consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

The Meat Eaters Guide to Climate Change and Health can help you to determine which protein sources are the most and least carbon friendly. At you can their quiz and see how much you know as well as find great educational materials to learn more. They embrace the Meatless Monday concept and even recommend the recipes on to improve personal and planetary health.

Sea Rim Striders Summer Series Run #6

Sea Rim Striders Summer Series Run #6, at Tyrell Park. Always nice to get together with the local runners at these weekly short runs. Another good turnout-- I'm sure there were over 200 again. It's supposed to be a "rest" day in my training schedule, and it was also very hot, so I didn't push it past tempo pace. Still about 91 F at 7 PM with a 72 degree dewpoint. Mile splits: 8:31, 8:26.

Monday, July 4, 2011

50K Training

50K Training Schedule

I officially start 50K training today. I looked at training plans online and settled on this one. Similar structure to marathon plans I've used in the past, but with longer long runs. 

The schedule is a slightly modified plan from the Run for the Toad, a 50K trail run in Ontario. The structure and distances of the plan looked good, so I converted the kms to miles, and changed Mondays from “Rest” to “Rest or Cross train.” That’s what I’m used to in past marathon plans. On shorter mileage weeks, I may cross train more. On the biggest mileage weeks, I'll need the extra rest. I’ll probably modify the Wednesday workouts also. My 50K race isn’t very hilly and there are no hills nearby to train on, so I won’t do much hill training. I also may switch the longest runs from Saturdays to Sundays, may substitute cycling/running bricks for some of the weekend runs, and will probably experiment with some run/walk intervals for the longest runs.

My target event is the 21st Annual Rocky Raccoon 50K Trail Run at Huntsville (TX) State Park on November 5, 2011.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sea Rim Striders Summer Series Run #4

Sea Rim Striders Summer Series Run #4 at the Gulf Terrace Hike & Bike Trail. Huge turnout of local runners, had to be well over 250.  Hot running-- still 90F plus at 7 PM, but it's nice to run with all the local runners.  I figure if I don't push the pace too much, I can't get too overheated in a half-hour. Time: 31:09 by the clock, 31:12 by Garmin.  Mile splits: 8:57, 8:56, 8:52, 0.5 mile @8:54.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Meatless Monday

Running Green supports Meatless Monday, an initiative associated with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The goal of Meatless Monday is to help reduce meat consumption in order to improve public health and the health of the planet.

These delicious-looking recipes are published by the Meatless Monday initiative, and may be found at

Healthy News:
10 Exercize Myths that Won't Go Away

Thursday, June 23, 2011

300 Days of Yoga

I marked a 300th consecutive day of yoga practice with a symbolic 30 minute practice, using the same video I used on Day 1, "The Primary Series - Express" The video actually runs 28½ minutes, but a little extra savasana made it an even 30.  Hamstrings are still a little sore from 108 Sun Salutations on the 21st; almost changed my mind because this video starts with 3 Sun Salutation A's  and 2 Sun Salutation B's, but after running and then re-stretching , much of the soreness is gone. ॐ

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Solstice Aftermath

One day after the 108 Sun Salutations, my observation is that it was an uplifting experience, and also QUITE a workout!  By yesterday evening, I could really feel it in my shoulders and hamstrings.  By this morning, my shoulders felt normal, but my hamstrings were quite sore.  I guess that's the big surprise from the event.  I realize that there are 216 standing forward bends in 108 salutations, and each one is a good hamstring stretch.  Just a little surprised to find that there's anything I can do to my legs to generate more than just a little soreness.  I've run two marathons in the last two years.  I run 30 to 50 miles per week, year around.  That works the hamstrings hard.  I do sun salutations (although way fewer) every week, and additional forward bends (standing and seated) as part of other yoga sequences.  I make sure I do at least a few forward bends after almost every run, just because it's a great hamstring stretch after running.  I guess I just underestimated the effect of 216!

Photo credit:

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Yoga Mala - 108 Sun Salutations at the Solstice

Photo credit:

Today's home yoga practice was 108 sun salutations at sunrise on the solstice, 4 rounds of 27. Started at 5:10 AM and finished at 7:30 AM.  Kept count with 27 beans in a bowl; transfered one to an empty bowl with each salutation. It was not an easy session, left me pretty well soaked with sweat by the end.  I was prepared to make modifications as I tired, but was able to hold upward dog through 108, instead of going to cobra.  I did go to bent leg chaturanga toward the end.  Set a relaxed spiritual atmosphere with the "Devotion" CD by Rasa (info at Nice. Feels great afterwards; hope I can bask in the aura the rest of the day.

The event brought to mind this passage, written by the great Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh in his amazing book "Peace Is Every Step."

"The Sun My Heart"
"We all know that if our heart stops beating, the flow of our life will stop, and so we cherish our heart very much. Yet we do not often take the time to notice that other things, outside of our bodies, are also necessary for our survival. Look at the immense light we call the sun. If it were to stop shining, the flow of our life would also stop, and so the sun is our second heart, a heart outside of our body. This immense 'heart' gives all life on Earth the warmth necessary for existence. Plants live, thanks to the sun. Their leaves absorb the sun's energy, along with carbon dioxide from the air, to produce food for the tree, the flower, the plankton. And thanks to plants, we and other animals can live. All of us-- people, animals, and plants-- consume the sun directly and indirectly. We cannot begin to describe all the effects of the sun, that great heart outside our body.

Our body is not limited by the boundary of what is inside our skin. It is much more immense. It contains even the layer of air around the Earth, for if the atmosphere were to disappear for even an instant, our life would end. There is no phenomenon in the universe that does not intimately concern us, from a pebble resting at the bottom of the ocean, to the movement of a galaxy, millions of light-years away. Walt Whitman said, 'I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars....' These words are not philosophy. They come from the depths of his soul. He said, 'I am large, I contain multitudes."


Om shanti shanti shanti

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sea Rim Striders Summer Series Run #3

Sea Rim Striders Summer Series Run #3-- a nice 5K course in Claiborne Park. My legs were a little tired, this was a sixth consecutive day of running, and I also ran 5 miles in the early morning.    A brief rain on an already hot, humid afternoon left it feeling really steamy.  I ran the previous week's 2 miler at race pace, but took this one easier,  pushed it a little for the conditions, but held back from race pace. Basically, a 5K tempo run: 8:47, 8:42, 8:41, 0.12 mile @8:37. Nice to visit with local runners again this week.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Green Choices: Green Mowing

I retired the gasoline mower this week-- no more feeling guilty about lawn care.

I know that small engines pollute even worse than motor vehicles, and have been looking into alternatives.  I chose the Neuton mower, electric powered, with rechargeable battery.
  • 270 million tons of pollutants per year are emitted by lawn/garden equipment.  After mowing with a gasoline mower, my clothes and body are saturated with hydrocarbon smell. That means I'm breathing toxins.  Neuton emits no fumes.
  • 800 million gallons of gasoline per year are used mowing lawns in the U.S.  Neuton recharges with 10 cents worth of electricity.
  • 17 million gallons of gasoline per year are spilled refueling lawn mowers in the U.S.  Neuton uses no gas or oil.
  • Gasoline mowers are noisy.  Neuton produces one-fourth of the noise of a gas mower.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Posted 3 ½ weeks ago about the celebratory first tiny ripe tomato of the season... 
Now picking this much almost every day! :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Vegetarian Adventures - Fresh Garden Goodness

This was really good.  Last night's dinner, grilled veggies, fresh out of the garden. OK, we didn't actually grow the mushrooms or the onions, but you get the idea...

Meatless Monday

Running Green supports Meatless Monday, an initiative associated with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The goal of Meatless Monday is to help reduce meat consumption in order to improve public health and the health of the planet.

These delicious-looking recipes are published by the Meatless Monday initiative, and may be found at

Healthy News:
Will Broccoli Boost your Lifespan?
[Yahoo! News]

Sea Rim Striders Summer Series Run #2

The local running club, the Sea Rim Striders has a series of weekly summer runs at 7 PM on Monday evenings.  They rotate between area parks, and are all short distances appropriate to the warm weather, between 2 and 3.5 miles.  These are fun runs, but some run them pretty competitively, just like an official race.  Clock timing, no chip timing; there's a big digital timer at the finish line.  I missed the first of the runs, but this was the second.

A nice short run at Tyrell Park. Just a 2 miler, second of the SRS Summer Series. Splits: 8:26, 8:04. Always good to be able to visit with a lot of local runners that I know.  Pretty hot running, still near 90 degrees at 7 PM, but a good breeze helped, and humidity was only about 50%. Good attendance-- 227 turned out!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Where Does the Time Go!?

Ironic coincidence-- this afternoon, I popped this old classic into my CD player on the way home from work.  I hadn't listened to it for a while...

When I got home, I saw this posted on the Grateful Dead Facebook page:

"‎41 years ago today, Grateful Dead released Workingman's Dead! Where does the time go!?"

Grateful Dead - Uncle John's Band by gratefuldead

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Quote of the Week

"Elevate. Each day, live to elevate yourself, each day elevate one person. Make elevation your religion and you shall reach infinity."

~Yogi Bhajan

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Green Goodness

Loving spring!  There's something magical about seeing the first fruit and vegetables grow, mature and ripen.  The picking of the first tomato is an annual cause for celebration in our household, and this event began in a small way today, with the picking of the first vine-ripened, totally organically grown cherry tomato!

First cherry tomato!  More vegetarian staples coming soon!

The first full-sized tomato-- ready to pick!

Two on this nice cluster are just starting to turn!

Baby green beans!

Cucumbers - blossoming but not quite showing fruit yet.

Cucumbers, beans and squash.

The first baby summer squash!

Peppers and eggplant.

Small bell peppers - won't be big enough to pick for several weeks.

Banana peppers - we've already harvested some of these!

More tomatos!

Baby grapefruit!  Fortunate to get them in this small tree's second year!

Baby lemon!

Basil.  I can taste the pesto already!

Home composting station.  Every leaf raked, every bit of yard waste, every fruit or vegetable peel or trimming, tea bags, coffee grounds, egg shells, etc, go in here, and are transformed into brown gold.  With lots of rich organic compost, there is no need for chemical fertilizers.  The plants love it, and happy plants make the best fruit!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Quote of the Week

"Feelings, whether of compassion or irritation, should be welcomed, recognized, and treated on an absolutely equal basis; because both are ourselves. The tangerine I am eating is me. The mustard greens I am planting are me. I plant with all my heart and mind. I clean this teapot with the kind of attention I would have were I giving the baby Buddha or Jesus a bath. Nothing should be treated more carefully than anything else. In mindfulness, compassion, irritation, mustard green plant, and teapot are all sacred."

— Zen masterThich Nhat Hanh (The Miracle of Mindfulness)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Running Green supports Meatless Monday, an initiative associated with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The goal of Meatless Monday is to help reduce meat consumption in order to improve public health and the health of the planet.

These delicious-looking recipes are published by the Meatless Monday initiative, and may be found at

Healthy News:
Why kids need recess and exercise

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Race Review - Samson Lonestar 5K Saturday, 14 May, 2011

Samson Lone Star 5K at the Gulf Terrace Hike & Bike Trail .
New best 5K time - 24:45. 16th place overall, 3rd place, male 41 and over age group.

On the way out...

I don't usually race from mid-May through the end of September in SE Texas, because it's usually just way too warm and humid. A freakishly late cool front came through Friday, leaving low humidity and a beautiful 55 degree Saturday morning. Friday evening after seeing the weather forecast, I decided on the spur of the moment to run this 5K event, and I'm glad I did. Finished 16th overall, and 3rd in the male 41 and above age group. Clock time was 24:45, 40 seconds better than my previous best 5K. Garmin time was 24:50. Mile splits were 8:02, 8:00, 8:02, 0:46 (0.1 mile @7:25). Finished into a fairly strong north wind.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Yoga Journal - May Digital Edition Is Free!

In honor of Earth Day, Yoga Journal is offering a free electronic version of the May issue. No paper used or natural resources consumed!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day Message - "The Art of Mindful Living"

Instead of composing another rambling rant, like last year's Earth Day message (, I'd like to publish this passage from the Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh's amazing book, Peace Is Every Step.  He says it so much better than I can. This is the entire short chapter titled The Art of Mindful Living.

"Nature is our mother. Because we live cut off from her, we get sick. Some of us live in boxes called apartments, very high above the ground. Around us are only cement, metal, and hard things like that. Our fingers do not have a chance to touch the soil; we don’t grow lettuce anymore. Because we are so distant from our Mother Earth, we become sick. That is why we need to go out from time to time and be in nature. It is very important. We and our children should be in touch again with Mother Earth. In many cities, we cannot see trees—the color green is entirely absent from our view.

One day, I imagined a city where there was only one tree left. The tree was still beautiful, but very much alone, surrounded by buildings, in the middle of the city. Many people were getting sick, and most doctors did not know how to deal with the illness. But one very good doctor knew the causes of the sickness and gave this prescription to each patient. “Every day, take the bus to the center of the city to look at the tree. As you approach it, practice breathing in and out, and when you get there, hug the tree, breathing in and out for fifteen minutes, while you look at the tree, so green, and smell its bark, so fragrant. If you do that, in a few weeks, you will feel much better.”

The people began to feel better, but very soon there were so many people rushing to the tree that they stood in line for miles and miles. You know that people of our time do not have much patience, so standing three or four hours to wait to hug the tree was too much and they rebelled. They organized demonstrations in order to make a new law that each person could only hug the tree for five minutes, but of course that reduced the time for healing. And soon, the time was reduced to one minute, and the chance to be healed by our mother was lost. We could be in that situation very soon if we are not mindful. We must practice awareness of each thing we do if we want to save our Mother Earth, and ourselves and our children as well. For example, when we look into our garbage, we can see lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, and flowers. When we throw a banana peel into the garbage, we are aware that it is a banana peel that we are throwing out and that it will be transformed into a flower or a vegetable very soon. That is exactly the practice of meditation.

When we throw a plastic bag into the garbage, we know that it is different than a banana peel. It will take a long time to become a flower… That awareness alone helps us protect the Earth, make peace, and take care of life in the present moment and in the future. This is an act of peace, a basic kind of peace action.

When we throw a plastic disposable diaper into the garbage, we know that it takes even longer for it to become a flower, four hundred years or longer. Knowing that using these kinds of diapers is not in the direction of peace, we look for other ways to take care of our baby. Practicing breathing and contemplating our body, feelings, mind, and objects of mind, we practice peace in the present moment. This is living mindfully.

Nuclear waste is the worst kind of garbage.  It takes about 250,000 years to become flowers.  Forty of the fifty of the United States is already polluted by nuclear waste.  We are making the Earth an impossible place to live for ourselves and for many generations of children.  If we live in our present moment mindfully, we will know what to do and what not to do, and we will try to do things in the direction of peace."

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Eat Local - Make Every Day Earth Day!

The Thanks to Meatless Monday for passing on this information!

The Eat Well Guide released this cool widget to help people eat local on Earth Day and everyday thereafter throughout the year. Eat Well Guide is a free online directory for anyone in search of fresh, locally grown and sustainably produced food in the United States and Canada. Include the food-finder widget (get the code below) on your website and/or blog, to provide your visitors with valuable sustainable food recommendations. Just type a zip code into the widget to find nearby sustainable restaurants, stores, farms and other producers from a growing list of over 23,000 vendors. Supporting sustainable agriculture is a delicious way to show your commitment to the earth 365 days a year.

Follow this link to copy the code for this or two other widget designs for your blog!

Training Tip of the Week

"Many elite athletes warm up for 60-90 minutes before they race to make sure they are ready to run fast right from the start. For most recreational athletes, some easy jogging, walking and stretching is probably enough. Determine a warm-up that works for you during your training."

~Today's Tip of the Day from Hal Higdon's Facebook page!/halhigdon

I believe this one.  I'm light-years from being an elite athlete, either by ability or training.  However, I recently tried a gradual 15-minute warmup, going from walk, to fast walk, to slow jog, to easy run.  This worked better for me before a 5K race than my usual 5 minute easy run, and the result was a slight PR, even on a mending knee and only 2 weeks of marathon recovery . 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Meatless Monday

Running Green supports Meatless Monday, an initiative associated with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The goal of Meatless Monday is to help reduce meat consumption in order to improve public health and the health of the planet.

These delicious-looking recipes are published by the Meatless Monday initiative, and may be found at

Healthy News:
Want to Sharpen Your Mind? Drop a Few Pounds

Weekly Training 11 - 17 April, 2011

(Graphic from my page at

The week started strong and ended with a whimper.  Started with a good tempo run Tuesday, and a medium/long run Wednesday.  I planned an easy paced six for Thursday, but ended up running it at almost tempo pace again.  Wednesday evening, UPS delivered the new shoes I ordered, a pair of Saucony Kinvaras.  I'm working at developing the "Chi Running" form, and wanted to try one of the "minimalist" shoe designs to help facilitate a midfoot running form.  The Kinvaras were so light and flexible that the run seemed to take less effort, so I ran a little faster than I intended Thursday.  I did slow it down a little Saturday, and intended to do a longer run Sunday.  Saturday afternoon, building a fence gate, my hand slipped and I slightly punctured my left thumbnail with a screwdriver.  I still thought I'd run the next day, but by Sunday afternoon, the wound was still slowly seeping blood through the bandage.  I decided that it wasn't wise to run and elevate my HR to 150 bpm with even a small seeping wound.  All's well though.  By Sunday evening, bleeding had stopped.  I saw my doctor Monday morning and she gave me a tetanus shot and antibiotics.

Yoga streak continued, daily practice at 232 days.

YTD: 440.6 miles running, 147.1 miles cycling, 587.7 miles total.

Week: 27.0 running miles;  Month: 72.1 running miles.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Spring Transformation!

A sure sign of spring-- the garden's in business again.  We just observed the first few tiny green tomatoes!

We've had a mild spring, with no later-than-usual cooldowns.  We started our garden seedlings indoors in February, to have them ready for early outdoor planting.  And plenty of great compost from last season's vegetable and yard waste for the young plants to thrive on.  Organic gardening at it's best! 

It also serves as a timely reminder of the fundamental oneness of all that is, fitting perfectly with words from the great Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh:

"When we have a compost bin filled with organic material which is decomposing and smelly, we know that we can transform the waste into beautiful flowers.  At first, we may see the compost and flowers as opposite, but when we look deeply, we can see that the flowers already exist in the compost and the compost already exists in the flowers."

The unity of life.  Yesterday's compost is today's tomato.  Today's tomato is tomorrow's compost.  And so the cycle continues...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Food Rules Friday

Michael Pollan is an acclaimed author and whole food/heathy eating advocate. He is the author of the best selling "In Defense of Food" and "The Omnivore's Dillemma."

Rule # 29: "Eat like an omnivore."

"Whether or not you eat any animal foods, it's a good idea to try to add some new species, and not just new foods, to your diet- that is, new kinds of plants, animals, and fungi."

I really enjoy finding new foods, especially from plants.  The message is that variety is good!  Personally, I'm a vegetarian, not a vegan.  I don't eat meat, but I eat some animal products such as cheese, yogurt, and a few eggs.  The principle applies, whether you're vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian or omnivore.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Training Tip Thursday

Unless you feel really hungry, eating food before or during a workout or before a medium-distance race isn't necessary. A meal high in carbohydrates (such as pasta) the night before should get you through. Practice good nutrition while training. Forget those fad diets. A proper mix of 55 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent fat and 15 percent protein is best for fitness and for good health.

~Tip of the Day from Hal Higdon's Facebook page.