Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Vego-pragmatism F.A.Q.

What the hell is a vego-pragmatist?
A vego-pragmatist is someone who agrees philosophically with many tenets of veganism and makes many vegan choices, but due to personal circumstances, is not able to adopt a purely vegan lifestyle.

How many vego-pragmatists are there in the world?
Probably millions, though I might be the only one identifying himself as such, given that I invented the term myself only a few hours ago.

Is it pronounced vejo- or veego-?
Whichever you like. I'm going with veego because, while I'm not vegan, I do want my lifestyle's name to evoke veganism. I admire vegans very much.

Why name it at all?
Good question. I want to have a conversation starter: Hot dogs are ready. No thanks. Why not? I don't eat hot dogs. Why not? I'm a vego-pragmatist. What the hell is a vego-pragmatist? . . .

So you want to browbeat others into adopting your alien lifestyle?
Not at all. I just like talking about whatever topic I'm thinking about at a given time, whether my interlocutor is interested in it or not. I've always been that way and people keep listening. Right now I'm thinking about improving my diet. Other people can eat whatever they want to eat.

How's it going so far?
Ask me in a week. Today I cooked up the last pound of hamburger in the fridge and finished off a bag of shredded cheddar cheese. The last of our milk will go in my breakfast cereal tomorrow. We have a few slices of American cheese but I'll use that to make grilled cheese sandwiches for Mrs. DMG to take to work. We have mayonaise to last until I can find a suitable substitute, which shouldn't be too hard. after that, it's off to the races! The first big challenge, this coming Wednesday, will not be a challenge at all. I will be in the break room celebrating 90 days without a recordable incident by eating a banana and a crunchy gala apple while every one of my co-workers sickens herself on Papa John's pizza. I can't wait!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Scouting Mission

I'd actually been in Ozark Natural Foods a few times before today. The smell hit me pretty hard the first time and I only lasted a few minutes. The next time it was the deathlike pallor of some of the customers that had me heading to the door. The third time I had the desire to buy a product called nutritional yeast, which I became aware of through Scott Jurek's excellent book Eat and Run, but I couldn't find it and I didn't have the nerve to ask for help. I know how absurd that is, but such am I.

Today, though, I went with the intention of staying at least an hour. I was going to view every product,  read labels, learn as much as I could. I was even going to interact with the employees, which I did, several of them. I found all of them to be friendly, helpful, knowledgeable, and non-judgemental. I was very impressed. I even got used to the smell.

My more informed impression of the store having spent an hour in it didn't change that much from my first impression when I only lasted a minute in the place. While most of my fellow shoppers did look more or less help healthy, there were still the ghosts in the room. And, for me at least, a big reason for eating healthier is to be healthy without having to take a bunch of pills and supplements. Ozark Natural Foods has a full three aisles of pills and supplements. It also has aisles and aisles of highly processed foods, perhaps organic, but still highly processed. Prices ranged from reasonable to offensively high. On whole, though, it's not a bad place. I made it the full hour!

My favorite section is the bulk grains. I didn't have the foresight to bring my own containers and would have felt funny using either the paper or the plastic bags, so I gave it a miss today, just grabbing info sheets from a few interesting beans and such.

Towards the end of the hour, I had still not found the nutritional yeast so I nutted up and asked someone. Turns out it happened to be on a low shelf only feet from my shins, which gave both of us a laugh. I grabbed a jar and headed to the register to make my first ever purchase at Ozark Natural Foods. Mission complete!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Getting Faster!

Nice little run today. I took about 50 seconds off my average moving pace from two weeks ago and felt better doing it!


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Couldn't resist!

Had to do some speed work today:


How could I possibly have burned 400 more calories this week on the Don than I did last week at Hobbs running the same distance? I think my watch is broken.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

First Day of Pre-training!

Coming home:

Since my little 42.3-mile run at the end of November, I had run a total of nine easy miles, once with my sister at Woodlands in Texas and once around Fayetteville Lake. I wasn't injured or anything; I just wanted to give myself a break and address some other things for a while. Today, though, I couldn't stand it anymore. I had to go back to the Mother Trail at Hobbs for the first time since my 50k last June. My training plan states explicitly that training does not start before February 17th, but it does not forbid pre-training, so that's what I did.

New toy, I mean tool:

I'm glad I began running two years before GPS existed so I could learn to manage my runs the old-fashioned way: with a watch. Fortunately, though, this year they introduced a new technology called a Global Positioning System which is going to be a boon for trail runners everywhere. I bought one. As I went to bed last night, my plan was to run ten or so laps of the Don Tyson, wearing my new GPS watch, and then publish the run information to this humble blog. I didn't particularly want to run the Don on what I knew was going to be a beautiful day, but I love absurdity and nothing could be more absurd than running laps on a half-mile stretch of sidewalk wearing a GPS watch. In the morning, though, my Hobbs homing instinct was just too strong.

The Bunny Ears:

Non-Hobbsers might benefit from a quick explanation of some stylistic considerations regarding the Bashore Ridge Loop and the Dutton Hollow Loop which make up what everyone calls the Bunny Ears. The first thing is that in the trail running universe, there exists no such thing as running only one or the other of the bunny ears. If you break your ankle on the first one, you tape it up, find a good stick to use as a cane, and you finish the other loop. There are no clear rules beyond that, but the consensus opinion is that the most aesthetic route is to run the Bashore Ridge Loop first and to run both loops clockwise. That's all I've ever done. I like to park at the Piney Road access so I can finish my long runs on the Bunny Ears. The climb out of Dutton Hollow on tired legs is just glorious!

My pain place:

I've gone to my pain place on the Dutton Hollow Loop several times, the most special being the first time I got past 20 miles--I actually ran 22--which was my last run before my marathon last year. It was then that I had the first real-deal muscle cramp of my life, where I could see a knot the size of a baseball forming and releasing on top of my leg. I wasn't in that bad a shape today but I was definitely in pain, so I commemorated the event by sitting on the same log I sat on last year when I lost the use of my left leg for about ten minutes because of that awful cramp. This time I just watched my calves and quads dance around like they always do four hours into a run. It was nice

Garmin worthy:

I'd like to think I would have pushed just as hard today without the fancy GPS watch, but I just don't know. I was extremely surprised and pleased at how well I ran and how well I felt after running the Clifty and War Eagle loops, especially after my two-month hiatus. It would have been pretty easy to call the run a great success at that point and go on home. But I knew whatever run I did today was going to be published on this blog for God and everyone else to see. I made sure my run was worthy, and in my mind, it is. You can see everything--splits, pace, an aerial photo, even replay the run--right here:


Please do take a look and let me know if you can see it. I may need to change privacy setting or something.

On second thought . . .

This was a really hard run, so much so that calling it pre-training is probably what Winston Churchill would call a "terminological inexactitude." No. I think I can say that my training for the Inaugural FlatRock 101k Ultra Trail Race has officially begun!