Posted on March 1, 2013
I have been on a Journey for over 3 years now and heading into my 4th anniversary in September of changing my life. I started as many know as a 347 lb man destined to die from the smoking, drinking and food that I consumed. But I decided for some reason to fight back and to try and change the life that I had.
Well I will tell you that I have learned alot of the the 3 years that I have been becoming healthy and losing weight at the same time. But as much I have learned I have had a very consistent conversation with my wife who is an R.D. (Registered Dietician). My wife and I often discuss food, whats in food and what can be fixed to help the society that we live in to overcome obesity.
One of the main points that always registers to me as a formerly obese person is that I was never educated on health properly. My parents didnt set a good example for me as a child and that combined with emotional issues sent my weight spiraling at grade 4. I did recover from the spiral till I was 30 years old and I realize that having a true education on nutrition at some point would have served me as a valuable resource.
So with that being said I want people who are wondering how to lose weight, get healthy or be fit to understand the truth about information that you receive on nutrition.
Most people that are seeking to lose weight seek the advice of “professionals” to assist them in finding information to assist them. The problem is that there alot of “experts” that can give you advice but rarely any of them have real information or are certified to give you that advice. So I want you to be informed of who you are talking to before you confide in them.
Nutritionist-This is the most common term used for someone who knows about Nutrition and/or food. The definition is A nutritionist is a person who advises on matters of food and nutrition impacts on health The main problem with this is that anyone can be a nutritionist.
Below is a clear definition of the Difference Between a Nutritionist and a Dietician
How Is an RD Different Than a Nutritionist?
The “RD” credential is a legally protected title that can only be used by practitioners who are authorized by the Commission on Dietetic Registration of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Some RDs may call themselves “nutritionists,” but not all nutritionists are registered dietitians. The definition and requirements for the term “nutritionist” vary. Some states have licensure laws that define the scope of practice for someone using the designation “nutritionist,” but in other states, virtually anyone can call him- or herself a “nutritionist” regardless of education or training.
Individuals with the RD credential have fulfilled specific requirements, including having earned at least a bachelor’s degree (about half of RDs hold advanced degrees), completed a supervised practice program and passed a registration examination—in addition to maintaining continuing education requirements for re certification. (This is taken from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics)
When seeing advice for your weight loss you need to have someone who is able to look at your current medical condition and make a diagnosis for your nutrition. The problem with a lot of “experts” is that they lack the knowledge of giving you a real solution to your problem based on your needs. You want seek to speak to someone who has the knowledge to look at your medical records and design a nutrition program that will work for you.
Updated on March 21, 2013
Well this is the weekly report for my 2nd attempt at 100 miles. I am preparing to run the 50 mile Grasslands Race in Decatur, Texas on March 23rd 2013.
Just to give you some insight into my life I have a pretty normal/busy life. I work 10-12 hours a day and also do my responsibilities as a father, husband and manager of people as a job. What I have already learned from last week is that my seconds, minutes and hours are precious for me to hit 100 miles. I have discarded most distractions including tv (unless i am stretching or rolling) during the week as this is the hardest time for me to pile up mileage and workout 2x a day. I also go over all my goals for the week with my wife before I start the week. First she is a Registered Dietician and we go over food, changes and things to watch out for with over training. But we also talk about things we have to do in the week which are bday dinners, meeting with house people (we are buying a house) and anything that might come up or she needs from me. So my week started last night over dinner. My wife came home from a bridal shower and wanted to grab a bite. There is a place near us on Richmond Avenue called Queen Vic Pub and it has the BEST INDIAN FOOD i have ever tasted. The best part of the place is that it is an English style Gastropub combined with the Indian food. So you get the Great Pub draft beers and specialty drink combined with outstanding food as well. Visit their site HERE.
So I set up my weekly schedule with my wife at dinner and then put it in my phone. I took into account what I have going this week and then made the schedule so to keep myself accountable and to know what I need to do to get there.
Here is the schedule that I put in the notes section of my Iphone. And just to note personal issues this week in case i reference them later. I have been feeling like a cold is coming on since Saturday which is probably because of my body recovering so much from running, my left IT band near the top front of my hip has been flaring up and of course my right knee the surgery repaired knee hurts but I will not play basketball.
Mon biceps/run (8)
Tues am track-weights legs/shoulder (8)
Wed am running wed pm off (12)
Thurs am spin pm run (12)
Fri am run pm chest/triceps (8)
Sat am long run off pm (30)
Sunday am run (22)
So there is the plan and the attack on it starts on Monday Am.
2/25/201p Monday AM- Got up on time and was at the gym at 5:15. My standard when I lift weights is 1 mile to warm up and then lift weights and then 1 mile to finish. I would say my pain level is around 5 on the right knee and 5 on the left IT band that has been flaring up. But I got on the elliptical got my 1 mile in around 10 min and jumped to weights. I am lifting currently lighter weight high reps. So 12-15 reps per set and lighter weight to get there. The focus group today is Biceps and Abs. I ended up with 51 minutes of lifting and got my groove at around 20 min so the last 31 minutes were fast and furious. Once done I jumped on the stepper which is one of my favorite machines. I like it because it will burn my quads and I can change positions to hit calves or more thighs. I actually turned it up to a 17 today which i rarely have if ever for the last 5 minutes and had a good burn. Afterwards I stretched for around 10 minutes and headed home to eat some protein. AM WORKOUT 2 miles with 51 min Biceps/Abs. Total miles 2.
2/25/2013 Monday PM- I jump out of work and hit the house around 6:15 and I’m in the gym at 6:20ish. I walk by the basketball courts and will myself to not go in. I love the game of competition and running the whole court the whole time. The cardio is amazing for me but I play way too hard and always find myself crashing to the ground, diving for balls and playing ultra aggressive. This leads to bumps , bruises and weird pains in all my lower joints. So I jump on the auto stepper the plan is 60 min with 7.0 miles. After cranking it up about 3.25 miles I shut it down and jump on the manual stepper. I crank that up to speeds never seen before which is probably 15-17 and start hammering at it. As I get to about 1.5 miles I am losing gas. Mentally I am tired and I dont know why. I feel weak, tired and im mentally over it. I jump off say hi to a friend and jump on the treadmill to try and do some uphills to get me focused. 5 min later im done with that. It was a weird night. I didnt have the foucs, drive or gas. I walk about with 5.5 miles total for the night. Not what I wanted but i haven’t had a day off in weeks. So Biceps (LIFT) 7.5 miles for the DAY.
2/26/2013 Tuesday AM- I wake up at 4:30 on the dot. Nothing moves. Not my body, my brain or my will. This all makes sense now. I have not had a day off in the morning in weeks. I have dropped the hammer on myself constantly and my body has responded great for me. But I knew to watch out for this and my wife I talk consistently about watching on over training. So I dont fight this feeling that I am having I enjoy the experience and walk to the other bed room to stretch and go back to sleep. Within minutes I am asleep and I sleep in till 6:30am. I feel great right now and have put on some compression socks and tights for the day. I am actually looking forward to the change in schedule and will run on the streets tonight which I have not done in probably a year. So i will do a mid week back to back tonight streets and tomorrow trail.Total Miles 0. Weekly Count 7.5
Side Note my wife called me to tell me our dinner date was cancelled Wednesday night and Saturday out plans have been moved back. I will never try and make up mileage but this opens my wed night to add some mileage back in there and saturday affords me a longer run as well.
2/26/2013 Tuesday PM– I get home right at 6:15 with the excitement of running on the streets of Houston. I love right inside the loop and I used to only run on the streets so I was anxious/nervous about going back on the streets. I headed out to a route that I knew would end up right around 7.0 miles. Once out the gate within the first 5 min I realized that I hadnt run this route since I got faster. When I reach the corner of Westheimer and 610 I looked down again to see that my time was still steady in front of anything I had every done. Once I hit 3.2 miles I knew that I was cutting high 8s. I was happy and decided to run down to richmond and take that home. But I also wanted to try and see if I could squeeze in 7 miles in 56 minutes which would be 8 min flat miles. So with half the run down I started to try and sink down deep and turn the gears a little. The next mile was consistent and then the last 2 i was reaching into a gear that I am happy to see my self have. I ended up at 6.75 miles at 56 which i think is low 8s. I was huffing it and puffing it but was happy. Knee was hurting and IT band was tight the last 3 miles with the increase in speed. I told my wife about it foam rolled and stretched and that was it. Total Miles 6.75. Weekly Count 14.25
2/27/2103 Wednesday AM- Crack of the 3:30 alarm hits me and Im up and moving.. Well I mean laying there. At about 3:45 I jump up and grab a cup of Joe knock, a bannana and a cup of soy milk. I slowly methodically get my stuff together. My shoes, food and bags are always in my trunk so I just grab a few things and head out. Against my better judgement I kick out around 4:30 on the trail with a light coat, 2 layers underneath and sweat pants with my 2″ shorty shorts. I am wearing the Salomon mantras that i have as to give them an early try today. Within about 1 mile I hate everything. My coat is bothering me, my hydration gear annoys me, the pants make me feel odd and the shoes are heavy. My mind immediate goes into I want to do something else today mode. As I start to drift into I hate this mode I make a simple adjustment that works for me often which is get back to the car and fix the problem asap. No need to stay in the woods hating what is happening when I can change it. This isnt about giving up but more of getting my mentally where I need to be to run my ass off. When I get back I see my phone GPS is acting crazy and I hate my watch apparently as well. So I go to to minimal mode. S Lab Sense Ultras, Just the base layers, no sweatpants, I go to no 2 chest mounted bottles and grab a handheld. I grab a 1/4 cup of dried cherries to make sure that none of this is nutrition. Then I feel light, mobile and ready to run. And I take off down the harder trails we go through ripping and running I feel back to normal. I don’t give a shit about pace at this point because I am running deep into my lungs. I am consistently at the point of grabbing air and sucking in deep to find it. I hit the car with about 45 min ago grab fresh water and a ThunderBird Energetica Sweet Lemon Rain Dance bar and hit it. I decided to run the other hardest trail we have backwards. I find it alot more difficult and i knew it would keep me on my toes. Same pace which is just above gasping for air. I hit the car 11 miles 1:50. Well between last night and this morning thats probably the best back to back ive ever run. I head home to some IT band stretching and start showering and getting ready for work. Total Miles 11.0 Weekly Count 25.25
2/27/2013 Wednesday PM- I got home at 6:15. It was a LONG day at work. Im in sales and I hate losing. I lost Wednesday. I was emotional, pissed and drained. I looked at my calendar to see if I could spare a night off with my wife. I decided I could and ate some spaghetti and watched biggest loser. I did though decided to do a brick leg workout for wed morning. Total Miles 0.0 Weekly Count 25.25
2/28/2013 Thursday AM- My alarm hits 3:30 and I am up. I scurry to get everything ready to do the brick workout. My brick workout is going to be track workout, leg weights and spin class. I have never done this before but it sounds crazy enough to try. 4am I start my 1st of 8 400m runs. I am currently trying to do sub 2:00 laps with 2 min rest. My first is 1:55 with sweat pants and jacket. After that all the runs are 1:45-1:47 the 2nd to last is 1:41 and the last is 1:32. I am going to try this next week with 1 min rest to see if I can keep them all under 2 min as well. After I get 3 miles with warm up I grab a ThunderBird Energetica bar and hit the gym. I am in at 5;00am and starting hitting weights soon after. I am doing alot of work on the Bosu ball upside down. Most people find this crazy but I like to do squats and dead lifts on an unstable platform. I lift and do some plyometics jumps before heading into spin class at 5:45. I set up and realize that I feel pretty good with what I have done and prepare to give spin class all I have. 45 min of all out is what I can describe for this class. I have taken this lady’s class before but this is a routine that I have never done before. I was ready and she was pushing the pace/gears at every step. 6:45 the class is over and I am tired not sore but hungry. Get come pound down some cottage cheese and a fruit shake with strawberries,blueberries, spinach, flax, chia and water. So the brick workout was fun and I was surprised that I feel great. Total Miles 9.0 (3.0 track, 6.0 spin) and Leg (LIFT). Weekly Count 34.25
2/28/2013 Thursday PM- Had to sign papers for new house. Got done at 8pm. So nada
3/1/2013 Friday AM– IT band was throbbing this morning which means no more weights until race day as I know this aggravated it. Didnt really feel like doing anything today. Very lethargic. In my younger training I would have pushed this and not cared but I am not anymore. Morning off easy stretching and relaxing. I am a little behind but plan is to get in 6 miles and lift session tonight and still try and get 60 in this weekend. Well see how this goes. Ohh and lift 2x more. Also I am about 1 pound away from my lowest weight so I am super stoked and eating clean right now as much as I can.
3/1/2013 Friday PM- I felt the strain of the week start to really hit me hard on friday and running alot wasnt going to make it to much better. I ended up doing 2.0 miles with my wife and doing some shoulder weights for about 30 min. So 2.0 and shoulders (weak workout) Weekly Count 36.25
3/2/2013 Saturday Am- I hit the trails at 4am. Run till 5am good pace and Michelle another HATR member wants to get in some mileage from 5a-6am and we run well and have a good chat. Jeremy is late but shows around 6:15 so we drop Michelle as she needs to go and Jeremy and I hit the trails quick. We plan our attack on a 7 mile long loop and around 3 miles into it as I am climbing up a hill I miss with the my left foot and end up landing with all my weight on my right shin. I have never experienced this much pain while running. It takes a few minutes for me to shake this out and only think how I would react in a race. We run till 8am and pick up my brother in law who is training to run his first half marathon at Grasslands. We run with him for around 45 minutes and we are at the cars around 9:00. I am probably about at 26 miles or so and really felt like calling it a day. But I decided to run the green all the way which i know is around 4.5 ish and I can finish this in around 1 hour which i need to leave at 10am on the dot for a birthday. Jeremy and I lead out I let him know that I was going to fly and tell him to be safe. I set out on a good pace and rip the trails apart on my way to the end. I remember thinking on this run that this is what people say when they talk about running with guts or all out. I think of some PRE quotes about digging in more than the next guy. As I drive home I am exhausted. But I am also proud and cant wait to attack Grasslands and seek my revenge on it. All in all the day was COLD, HURTFUL and im Grateful. Total Miles 30.75 Weekly Count. 67.00
3/3/2013 Sunday Am- Sometimes a day goes perfect. Sometimes just the start of the day reminds of you of who you are, what you do and why you do it. That was today for me. Saturday had cleaned me out pretty good and I woke up Sunday at 3:30am with no thoughts of moving. With some encouraging words from my wife and a cup of Joe I had decided to just get up and start doing some of the mileage on the trails since I knew if i started running with Lukes road Kill Runs I couldnt stop. This was the smartest thing I could have done. 5am I start marking the trails, I mark some run back and so forth. All the while thinking I might not run and do this all day. I do this for a few hours and hit the Lukes Gang up at 7:15 on the dot. I change and head out and within minutes the 67 mile legs begin to loosen up. We are going to run 4.5 miles with lukes and I am running with 2 friends and a new face. We are in the back laughing, telling stories and enjoying the runs. As we are running I realize how much I love trail running, running with people and just chatting on the trail. As we hit around 2.5 I get a chance to meet the new face. We talk alot about running (duh), my mileage and so forth. I invite him to be a HATR and what we do and why we do it. As we run back to the meeting point I am feeling pretty good and strong. So I decide to go ahead and join them as they run another 10+ miles after the Lukes run is over. As we run I find myself day dreaming as the light wind and sun beams on my face. As we run the next few miles we grab some other people make some loops and it really sets in that a) I love trail running and b) I cannot believe that I am still running. Maybe its me or I am just defiant to the notion that this is something that is normal for people who run everyday but I am pushing myself to where I can run insane mileage, not stop and keep going. Its a tad bit on the scary side because I am hoping it dosent end. I love it. As we are running I get my best compliment to date from the newer friend. He says ‘Rob, you are a machine man. you just keep going”. It took me by surprise but I take it in stride. I enjoy being a ambassador for the trails, trail community and the ultra community. It was a nice compliment and for a second made me realize that I work my butt off and its paying off. As we hit half way I meet another fresh runner. He asks if he can join in and I say yes and we add another to the group. I knew immediately that he was a runner by the way he eased in to the pace and his gate. Once started we went on the back green also known as Laos to hit the hard trails. He told me he was fresh and that he had run an ultra before and was looking forward to more. So of course that meant to me that I should push the pace hard even though i was at 90+ miles for the week and see what he could hold or if he would pass me and I would die trying to catch him. We played a fair game or darting and diving for a few miles through the hills and I was happy to push hard although I was beginning to tire as the mileage built up. With 3 miles left we took the last water break and headed out. Jose should up after PR ing yesterday at Nueces 50k so it was good to see him. We busted the last few miles and a friend and I ran hard the last few miles. We both laughed as we said each other pushed them to run and we both finished hard and strong. Total Miles 33.0 Weekly Count 100.00
This was my most challenging week by far. I missed a few lifting workouts because of the load and I did have to take a few days to recover as well. But all in all my most fun week as a runner and leader. I relish in the opportunities to lead runners, group and people to trail running. I am looking forward to the last week of 100 miles to see if I can squeeze out a memorable last week.
thank you to all who ran with me this week. thank you for those who I met and shared their stories with me as well. It means the world to me to run with you, experience the trails with you and enjoy the trail.
if you are reading this and you are NOT a member of Houston Area Trail Runners you should be. we run hard, we laugh alot and we laugh trails. Come join here
Updated on March 3, 2013
Well my first 100 mile week is in the bank. The last time i tried and got close was 92 miles which was the last week before taper for cactus rose which i ran with great confidence.
My week was planned with a mix of running and cross training since my groin/it band has been a little “upset lately”
Monday I started the week off with a good mix of cardio and ended up with 9 miles for the day.
Tuesday- I have started to reconnect with speed work and I went out and did a combo of a few miles on the track and then some great cross training at night for another 10 miles.
I was really hesitant on running Wednesday morning just because I was nervous that my body couldn’t endure the consistency.
Wednesday morning right on time 3:30am I got up and at it. I ended up doing 8 miles on the trails and headed to the gym to do shoulders as well. I followed this up at night with 6 more miles and ended up with 14 for the day.
Thursday morning i choose to do spin class for cross training and at night was able to grab 4 more while doing back on the weights. so 10 for the thrusday.
Friday I woke up and did chest and triceps for weights and had a great trail run with my wife that afternoon for 7 miles total for the day
So 5 days 50 miles.
So at this point I am laughing at myself because I have never gone into a weekend with this many miles. But i felt really good with my body. I had been eating extremely clean all week with loads of fruits and veggies. I stretched 2x a day with hot tubs and rolling with a foam roller a few times as well.
Saturday i was up and ready for the 30 mile run. I jumped out of bed at 2:30am ready to chomp at the bit. There was a lot of commotion on our trails with the rodeo people in town so we had to park at the end of the trails and “sneak in”. I met Jose as he had just started. The first Hr felt good as we were cruising through the harder trails that we run. But I was already surprised because I felt good and ready to move. We grabbed Jeremy at hour 2 and headed back out into the trails. We were keeping a good pace and I was feeling comfortable at this point. Leading into the 3rd hour I told Jose that I felt strong, like I did when I ran cactus and was ready to move. We headed back to the car and I started to feel weak. I had dropped my pack with double bottles at hour 1 so I was running with a handheld. Once Jeremy and I started running together hour 4 i let him lead as I could tell something wasnt right with me. I knew my calories where okay but the change from 2 bottles to one handheld had me playing from behind in hydration. Once I peed I could tell that my water consumption had fallen behind. We hit the water stop and I took in some water and chased it down with some cracker and peanut butter. Once back to running it took about 30 min and I was back on track. Jeremy and I spent the last hour with him in front and me pushing him hard. I felt good strong and happy. 30 hard, miles. 80 total.
Well today I knew alot was on the line. Jose and I talked about running some flats first, then trails and then demoing the ThunderBird Energetica bars at the loop. I slept in probably 45 minutes from normal but got up around 4:45 and hurried to get ready. I arrived the the Memorial Loop around the golf course and headed out. My plan was to run 2-3 loops of the 3 miles fast to get myself used to flat land. Grasslands is my next race and I want to feel confident on the flat grounds as I normally run a lot of technical trails. So there I flew out of the game I knocked off a quick 30 min 3 miler to get the ball rolling and the legs loose. I felt really strong the only pain a little IT pain in the front upper hip area but thats just pain nothing new. So i decided to stretch it out to see where I am at and decided to try and crank the pace on the 2nd go round. I start out and carry an 8 min pace through the run at end with 25:45 so I was super stoked about that. I am new to running faster paces. So I am constantly reminded of how hard training will make you fast. So then I decide to get in a few more miles and head to the meeting spot at 7am. I run some more of the loop and head back to the car because I need to head to the Trail parking lot. so 10 miles between all the loops running and getting to the parking lot.
We were going to be running with 4-5 i suspected from Joses emails. Jose was late (whats new) but Emma was there. The last time I ran with Emma she was just getting back into running but I could tell that she was serious. Once I saw Emma she told me Rob i am ready to run today i need to get in 15. I told her I was running from 7-9;45 so that we could demo the bars. I told her Jose would text me and lets get moving. Being that I was tired mentally I am hoping that the next 10 miles has cupcake written all over it. But the other side of me wants the pain, the hard uphills and the enjoyment of gasping… Im glad that Emma was ready to run because she and I started a good pace which we ran for a few miles 2.5 i think until Jose was at the parking lot. Once we met Jose we decided to cut back the Green trail and do a large loop. As soon as we started Jose pushed the pace, Emma ran behind him and I held the rear. I love when people push the pace when I am tired as it makes me want to chase them and track them down. The next miles from 2.5-6 Miles where the best miles of the week. It is what trail running is, what groups are supposed to do and why I love the community of Running. We pushed Emma to run the uphills no matter what and to enjoy the free speed of the downhills. She commented about how this felt painfully great and I reminded her that she wanted to “run” today. As much as I love the pain of running hard and I really enjoy seeing people push themselves and find there is more to offer. Emma was strong, confident and powerful. She told us about signing up for Hells Hills and she is going to do great based on the effort i saw. We hit the water at 6 mile and decided to run a 3 miler through the best up and downs we have. Miles 6-9 had me watching the watch alot. I was watching our pace but also I was finally getting tired of running. I knew the end was near and was so thankful that we had a group pushing the pace because I was mentally tired of running. We came in at mile 9 and I decided to run from there to where my car was parked. As I ran on flat ground to the car I dropped my gear down hit the 9 min miles I was looking for and coasted the last mile. Tired, happy and grateful.
I want to thank Jose, Jeremy, my wife, Emma and Houston Area Trail Runners. I am very thankful of the week and to watch myself progress as a runner.
This week was a special week for me. 1 Year sobriety, running trails with my wife, seeing coyotes on the trail, running with my HATR brothers and seeing Emma kick butt.
So that was my week and I topped it off with doing a Demo for Thunderbird Energetica (which I LOVE) so it was relaxing to watch people run and have fun recovering.
2 more week of this and Ill be ready to destroy Grasslands.
Posted on February 22, 2013
My name is Rob Goyen and I am an alcoholic.
One year ago today I woke up around 9:30am. late for work, reeking of Alcohol and empty of excuses of why I continued to drink when all the signs were in front of my face.
I can remember that my wife asked me for a reason why I drank so much, was out all night and would continue to do this to me and our lives over and over again. As i pondered the question I remember realizing that I had finally run out of excuses to why I drank. it wasn’t that i was Happy, sad, tired or stressed from work. I remember telling her that I had no excuses and I could truly said I had no idea why I was blackout drunk again. I remember telling her that I would find a way to fix this and that I could change.
I remember spending the whole day trying to figure out how to fix me, change me or understand how I had become such a monster in this way. I had quit so many things in my life and became so healthy why in the HELL couldn’t i fix this. Why did alcohol have such a grip on my that I was unable to walk away from it like so many negative things in my life. These questions weren’t something that I had answers to and without those answers I couldn’t rationalize my next step.
I choose to seek the comfort of the local AA that day and headed to the Post Oak Club near my house. There was a meeting at 5pm and I remember being so nervous that I could hardly walk in. I remember it was a Wednesday night which was mens only night and I quietly sat in a room of 30-40 men. Within the first minutes they asked for anyone to raise there hand that was there for the first time. I raised my hand and was welcomed to the group and they told me a little about themselves.
Soon after this I began to hear the stories of men who were broken, repaired and some still fighting the daily struggle of Alcoholism. Within minutes I realize a very important idea that would set me to my course strait for the rest of my life. I am an Alcoholic. It was a very freeing feeling for me to find the answer to my questions. All of the times i wondered why I couldnt just have one beer, or why I never could drink just 3 beers I always had to drink to excess. As I sat in the meeting I learned about the 12 steps involved, I was able to share my brief story and I was also surrounded my men who fighting the same struggle that I was there for.
I can still remember crying all the way home and asking God to forgive me for the things that I had done to the people in my past. I remember coming home and seeing my wife sitting in the couch and her eyes red from spending the day being upset. I remember telling her about the meeting and how I realized that I was an alcoholic and I was sorry. I can remember her emotions as I was ready to move forward and the pain of my action still stirred inside her. Even as I remember that night it makes me so ashamed of how I treated my wife and those around me. But that day was the turning point for my life and my sobriety.
What they dont tell you about being sober is that life changes immediately. Like most people I used and abused alcohol as a way to cope with emotions that came into my life. I drank when I was happy, sad, excited or just to get buzzed. Without this crutch on myside I was left to figure out how to deal with the emotions that ran wild through me. Through trail and error I realized that running would be my ultimate savior and provide me the outlet to channel my emotions. Slowly but surely through the months I also became proud of myself again and the husband that I needed to be. There was alot of trust that I needed to build and every time alcohol was near I would feel the room get quiet as my wife watched how I would react to the situation. Fortunately for me I did continue to contact my sponsor daily and went to weekly meetings. Those talks helped me to understand that I was not a victim and that alcohol wasnt bad.
As the tides changed I also began to realize that there were people that werent for me quitting drinking. I had multiple friends lash out with comments that I wasnt a man because I drank or that we couldnt hang out because we would have nothing to do. Slowly over time I realized that if those people didnt respect my decisions than i couldnt respect them either. My sponsor and wife were vital in helping me understand the dynamics of healthy relationships and how to deal with those let downs.
But there is the wonderful part of losing and gaining something. In the wake of adjust to being sober, losing friends and the pain I found peace. I can honestly say that the combination of being sober and running has taken me to a place where I am proud, healthy and confident. I rarely let my mind venture back to the old days since those days seem so foreign to me and i relish the idea of being sober today. I have enjoyed the peace of knowing that I wont ever feel like that, smell like that or act that embarrassed to myself.
So here I stand today. 1 year sober. Its been a long road to get to get here but I am here. Peaceful, confident and sober.
For more information on AA Please visit HERE
Posted on February 14, 2013
Valentines day is always a special day for most people in this country. It is a day to share love with significant other, usually filled with dinner, gifts or something special. Valentine’s Day 2/14/2011 will always be a day that I never forget and for me Valentines day will always have a different meaning for me.
The first time a child meets his mother isn’t something I think most people can remember. Usually these stories are told by our parents and have pictures recapping the day we where born the overwhelming joy and the scenes of us being held in our mothers arm resting. The birth of a child is something that I have experienced in my life and realize the tremendous amount of attachment that is made immediately after a child is born. So with this I have no understand of how is must feel to give your child up for adoption or the emotions that register over time because of this. On the flip side of that coin I do know that it feels foreign to call people mom and dad that look nothing like you or share common traits. It is something that works for loving families that provide support for the children they adopt. But I am here on earth because a young woman choose to have a child instead of having an abortion in the late 70s. That unselfish act by an extremely courageous woman would lead me to meet her again 32 years after I was born.
I never had an intentions of seeking my mother but always had been asked over a thousand times if I would ever do so. There were also times that my wife would also ask me about this and even start the process but I never followed through with the information. Mentally I had been alone my whole life, I never depended on people even my adopted parents and the thoughts of sharing my emotions and life with another was overwhelming.
A week leading up to the date of 2/14/2011 I had received a call from a P.I. stating to me that he had been searching for me and that he wanted to know if it was okay for my mother to have my contact information. Without hesitation I gave him my information and let him know that it would be okay. My wife and I talked about everything that you could happen, expectations and a lot of me keeping my emotions under wraps so I wouldn’t feel hurt by the experience.
2/14/2011 Came and as I normally do I started the sweet things to my bride to be at the time. I left work early and grabbed some fish, flowers, cards and some items to make homemade cookies. My wife was at school I think and was going to be home around 5pm. As I cooked the fish and starting making the cookies my phone rang. I knew from the area code that it was her. I remember answering the phone and saying hello and the call dropped. I immediately called the number back and heard the voice of my mother for the first time.
I remember our conversation was very much a feeling out process. Much like a first date or round 1 of a boxing match meaning there was so much to talk about but the pace was slow and very controlled. I remember that she told me her name and when my wife came home to find cold finish and the worst baked cookies ever she didn’t care. All we did that night was google, facebook my mom and tell all of my friends and family. Even as I write this my eyes well up to the emotions that I remember that day. I remember that void that was filled, I remember the tremendous amount of support from friends and family. As the first few days and weeks went along my wife played a pivotal role in being my support system as I dealt with the emotions that were coming from the process. My wife was raised my amazing parents and a great brother so she was vital in explaining to me the dynamic of a family and how people can love unconditionally.
As the weeks and months went on my mom and I began the process of meeting, forming bonds and discovering each other as people. Looking back over the past 2 years most of my life has changed for the better. I have been able to transfer my addictions, emotions that held me down in the past to positive actions that have proved life changing. But one thing I couldn’t change about myself was the void that was always there to have someone love me. I found one woman a few years ago that loves me no matter what I knew I had to marry her and do what ever it took to keep her in my life. I found another woman on 2/14/2011 that looked for me for whole life that I knew would love me no matter what. I also intend to make sure that she never leaves myside as well.
It is an unbelievable experience to find a birth parent. In my case I found a mom who is so much like me that it still makes me shake my head. I inherited another mom in the process, aunts, grandparents and the joys of being in a family that is loving. Now looking back I am grateful and thankful that my mom never stopped searching for me and that my wife never let me quit the process once it started.
So as Valentine’s Day is here again I am reminded of a day that changed my life in every way. A day that the love of a mother and a child was reunited.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all the Mothers and Wifes today!
Updated on February 14, 2013
Last night I had the opportunity to share a friend of ours birthday with dinner at a local restaurant in the area. We haven’t all had dinner in some time so it was nice to catch up on events, have some adult conversation and celebrate out friends recent birthday as well.
At the end of the night I was reminded that Last Fat Tuesday was the last time I have drank alcohol ( my plan is to blog about it on Feb 21st) so It was a good moment to reflect and realize how much I have come from last year. As our conversations switched we started talking about Lent and what people in our groups were going to give up. My wife and her friend spoke about giving up sweets for the next 6 weeks or the extent of Lent. We all helped to set guidelines of what is defined as a sweet and so forth. I spoke up and said that I wasn’t cutting anything out since I have basically cut out and added as much healthy things as I can over the last few years. Recently Jan 1st I decided to stop drinking energy drinks and of course substituted that with coffee since I had never had that before. But for a moment I felt left out and I love to challenge myself all the time since it usually leads me to become healthier and a better person in general.
So although I am not Catholic I am going to celebrate lent this year. I want to challenge myself to something that I have spoken but have yet to really, honestly committed to. When i weighed 347 lbs I had always said that I wanted to get to 173. 173 is half of my body weight and obviously is a number that would be the final challenge. My wife being an R.D. has discouraged me at times to focus on a weight number since I run 50-100 miles a week, lift weights 5x a week etc. That for me as a person if I am focused on this number I will not see destruction to my body and only to get to the number. I think in the past she would have been right and I would have done that exact action. But this is different and I want to get there. My wife also jokes with me that if I had skin loss surgery I would probably get there just based on the amount of skin they could take off as well. She is probably right but something inside of me wants to push my nutrition and diet to the best that it can be and this is a great chance.
So my Challenge is until Easter is to eat healthy and stay under my calorie goal everyday. This is something that I regularly do but I also have a cheat meal or 2…or 3 sometimes a week which keeps my weight usually right around 190 although my lowest is 184.4. So this will be more of me not having large cheat meals that end up sucking away all the calories I burn running and lifting all the time. A huge benefit to all of this is that the Grasslands race is March 23rd and this is the race that will mean the most to me in my short lived ultra career.
So I love a challenge and I always have. I love them because it makes me look at what I can do better, set goals and be focused on achieving those goals. In this case I will use Lent as my catalyst to finish losing the 15 pounds that would mean I have lost 50% of my original body weight.
So I started this morning with 6.5 miles and felt the salt start to escape from my chips and salsa… Well we are on the ball Day #1.
Updated on February 10, 2013
Piney Woods Trailfest 50k Review
Feb 9th, 2013 7:30am
The alarm sounds right about 4:00 Saturday morning and I get out of bed. My only thoughts are to make sure I take in the carb load, vitamins and get a good cup of joe. My goals start now and the first one is to have this done by 4:30am so that I have 3 hours to process this. My carb load meal is around 180g. Bagel, Cream of Wheat and a smooth that I prepared the night before with berries, avocado and bananas. I have had problems recently with #2 about 10 miles into the races so I am hoping this will work.
At around 4;45 I jump in the shower get ready and my wife gets up about 5am. I realize that she only does this because she loves me since she REALLY likes her sleep and 5am isnt the norm. We are in the car at 5:30 and headed to Piney soon after. We get to the gates right at 6:30 and within a few minutes the gates are open.
Once we get there I text Jose and Jeremy to get etas and go to packet pickup. I have an opportunity to speak with Bill Gardner who runs the Run In Texas Series. Once I get back to the car I notice the shirt and I am very impressed with the quality and fit of the shirt and my wife and I comment on some of the upcoming races. I start to get a little abrasive as I am getting anxious so my wife reminds me that all is okay and to calm down. There is something about the 20 min before a race that could be similar to the end of the world. Have I done enough? Do i need to stretch? How do I feel?
Well Jeremy and I take a prerace picture and start the drop bag gathering. Jose pulls up and picks up Rachel as they are headed to the 5 mile Aid station #2 to volunteer. Jose also brought his cousin and sister so It was a pleasant surprise to see them as well. As they leave Jeremy and I head about 15 feet to the starting line. I catch a signal for my watch and as Bill is speaking I do some light running and stretching. It seems so quick but we are in the corral. I look around and see that there is around 30+ people for the 50k. I see 2 “runnerish” guys and decided to go and hug Jeremy and tell him good luck. As I turn around I put myself in the top 10 of the corral, I feel nervous about being this far to the front but I tell myself just run your race but go out fast.
As the countdown hits 0 I am ready to run. The game plan is suicide. I come out with the the first group of 10 and 2 of the first men lead out and within 300 yards I can tell whos who. I am sitting around 5-6 and I am deciding where I am going to sit. As we start through the first mile my watch is telling me that I am running 8s… Well I have never run 8s.. But it feels fast but fun.
I am in 5th place and I know who is front of me and who I have passed. As I see my wife and friends at mile 5.2 or so I realize that I am flying. At this point I have broken every trail record I have. I am coming in right at 9 min miles for the first 5. Just as planned I have them 2 water bottles and I am gone I dont think I stopped for more than 20 seconds at most. Just as I hit mile 5 I take a salt pill and a Lara bar Ginger.
I started to feel some GI discomfort early in this race and I think no caffeine might be my next ultra problem to face. But as I start the push from 5-10 miles my only thoughts are to keep the pace up. I realize that this pace my not be here all day but I want to run as hard as I can for as long as I can. As I head back into close to the start my pace is solid. high 9s and I am still holding the sub 10 min pace that I wanted.
Once back into the start a just grab water and head back on the course again maybe stopping for 30 seconds and I jump back on the course. I take in another salt pill and grab a Thuderbird Energetica Walbut bar and get moving. At around mile 12 i am not paying attention and i take a wrong turn. I immediately think about Sage Canaday recently on him getting lost. As I run in and out and around I see nothing. I am frustrated, pissed and hate what is happening. I see a white flash about 50 yards in the distance and follow it to see I was down the road. The worst part is I just lost a spot. Around mile 13 my watch starts acting strange and start losing signal. I know I am still running right around 9:45 pace but then the watch loses signal. Mentally that deflated me a little as I wanted to see my pace so I could push myself harder. I am also still trying to diagnosis why my stomach is acting up.
As I come into the #2 Aid station I am feeling a little low. I ask my wife to grab me a Justins Chocolate Hazelnut butter from the back and the crew grabs my water for me as well. I am in and out in less than 1 min and back to running. Around mile 17 from what I remember I lose the high gear that I was in. I feel my body shift down a gear and I spend the next 4 miles trying to mentally tell my self to let the food kick in and I will be okay. Around mile 17 I stop and have them throw my a banana on the run as I dont want to stop for water and chunk it down. I feel my pace start to slip and I am leaking all over the course I feel. Around mile 19 I fall. I hate falling. This was a quick fall though as I roll and just get up and start moving again. I notice that my quads are really burning now and that I might not be able to get back that high gear.
I saw my fellow HATR member Robert Smith and he was cheering me on and so was Gerardo. Robert i later found out won the 20 miler and Gerardo paced him as well. I rarely wear headphones but I did this race until 21.5 when I hit the start/finish bag drop. I had thought to grab handhelds since my pack was rubbing a bit all day but just took the head phones off and started chugging along. Once I started heading back out I knew that I was in trouble and that the pace was off. I tried to focus on breathing good and keep moving as fast as I could. I am also thinking of those behind me where I can finish, age group etc. Unlike most people I have never been in the front, gotten anything for age group or really won anything. So I am excited at the thought of PRing this race and maybe getting a top 10 finish. But the worst part of all this is I start to get passed. Right around 22 i get passed and I realize what is happening. I start to wonder if going out this fast was so smart, why is my stomach hurting and I hate my watch. My pace mentally feels like a walk at this point although it was as much as I could do. My quads were really on fire at this time and the flat course was finally taking its toll on me.
Miles 26.5 to Finish
As I finally got the Aid Station #2 where the crew was I was tired. I knew I was going to finish but I was really exhausted. I told them I was leaking bad on time and that I was on it. I remember by buddy telling I was right on it as he predicted a 5:45 finish for me. I appreciated his enthusiasm and started to move again. As soon as I got to mile 27 I was passed again this time by 2 guys that I went in front of at mile 3. Over the next 3 miles I was passed by 3 people again. Each time I was passed It sucked worse. And each time I was passed I tried to stay on their heels only to see them slip away. I can remember being around 1.5 miles away from the finish and knowing I was going to get passed yet again. I remember at Bandera making my move now and passing people at the finish. So I just started moving as quickly as I could. She would eventually pass me with around a mile to go. I knew at this point that the 5:30 was not going to happen. As the last .8 arrived I picked up the pace as much as I could. I wasn’t very emotional in the race as I had been in the past and maybe that’s just me dealing with the emotions that come with the Ultras. The last about .3 mi is kind of a loop. As soon as I come out I see 2 of the people who have passed me aren’t that far in-front. It makes me realize that the kick I had the final 1.5 was probably good to catch up with people who had passed me 3 miles before and that I am moving good. I crank up the legs and get to the tape. 5;43.. I am excited to finish. The time is great for me but I feel like I underachieved. I am mad that I leaked the finally 10 miles. So I am a mix of thankful, grateful and spiteful.
As I finish I get a chance to talk to some of the racers, volunteers and Bill Gardner. I take my time change, eat some wonderful veggies and drink some water. I network about Houston Area Trail Runners a little and find out my buddy Jeremy is still going and Jose is going to pace him in.
My wife, Joses sister and cousin come back and we unload the car from the aid station. I get a chance to finally finish eating with my wife and talk about the race etc. We get word Jeremy is only 2 miles away so I am excited to see him finish his first ultra. As my wife and I take silly pictures on the bench I hear HERE HE COMES… My fastest 50m of the day had to be from the table to the circle to see him make his final trip. We cheered him on and watched as he finished up. My wife had made him a plate and a beer so that he could just sit down. I could see the pain through his eyes and he tried to eat and tell his race story. He told me that he was in so much pain and has never felt this way before after a race. After we talked we took some pictures and all headed home. Once on the road I could feel the inflammation set in. I normally can feel the heat and start to get drowsy which I am used to by now. My wife tells me she wants Ice Cream and wants Dairy Queen. We really never eat DQ but sounds like a good way to reward myself I assume. As I eat the Double Fudge Cookie Dough large blizzard it is very comforting and I ready to be home.
Below were my goals
#1 Make sure that I enter and finish that race and have a great time. That means being kind, respectful and friendly. #2 Watch Jeremy finish his first Ultra and officially becoming #3 Keep my stoppage time under 10 min for the whole race. #4 6:42 is my PR for 50k set in January. I have to beat this and set a new PR.
#5 My time goal is this 5:30. The great part of this goal is that I dont know If i can do it.. But Im going to go for it.
#6 My ultimate goal. Sub 5 hr finish. This will be all that is on my mind. Sub 5 hr finish.
So I accomplished 4 of the 6 goals. My time was 5:43 which is an one hour PR for me so that is great. I think i ended up 4th in my age group 30-39 which was the largest and I think I ended up 10-12 but I didnt see the finals so I am unsure where I finally finished.
With every race there are highs and lows. I ran as hard as I could for the 13.5 miles my watch logged my run I broke every record every set trail running on my watch. I ran 8 min miles for the first time in a trail run and I finished strong no matter what. The lows my watch crapping out on me at 13… I really need/want to get a better watch in the future. I leaked probably the last 13 miles of the race. My body was a little off I think i had too much sodium out of the gate and was never able to get really hydrated although trying. I didnt finish with a sub 5:30 which would have gotten me at least 3 spots higher in the ranks..
All in all looking back I love running ultras and I like running hard. I wont ever go into a race with just trying to finish or get to the line. I like breaking my own records and seeing what I can do to get better everyday I train and run. I have also decided that PR stands for Pain Reward since every time i get one it hurts.
Thank you to my Wife, Jose, Jerms, Robert and Gerardo for the encouragement. Thanks again to Bill G and all the Run In Texas crew including volunteers, cooks etc. It was a wonderful event and I loved every minute of it.
Updated on March 21, 2013
Piney Woods Trailfest 50k Preview
Feb 9th, 2013 7:30am
I have had the advantage of speaking with another member of Houston Area Trail Runners who has run this course and is very familiar with the terrain and nature of the race. His guidance and information was beneficial in me understanding how to go about the race. The race is mostly flat with one minor hill which is similar to the terrain I run on every week so I feel very confident I can go fast and run hard.
My body feels good for the most part I think as I have not lifted weights at all this week. I did run a small amount Monday and Tuesday 4-5 miles each day to keep my legs loose and in good shape. I have in the past regretted taking a whole week so with this being a shorter race than a 50m I am trying something a little different. Normally i will take off Wednesday and Thursday and just stretched and relax. While I have no reason not to do this again I wanted to see if something would work better. Wednesday I did a 2 mile elliptical training and then did about 20 min of leg weights on top of the bosu ball. I followed that up thursday with about a 40 min light running session barefooted at Lamar high school. So last night I also did a hot bath and a good foot and leg stretch. Coming into Friday I am a little sore in the groin but my hamstrings, quads and calves are fine. Last week had made me nervous since after a week of doing 80 miles my left glute was feeling odd (web said it was the vein that runs through the glute) but sub sided on Sunday. My right knee which is the one that I had meniscus surgery on November is a little inflamed but that is the last of my worries. The knee once it gets moving shouldn’t be a hindrance.
It seems so funny to me that I get tired of training if more than its a 2 months without a race and I get tired of racing if I don’t go a month of straight training. I think alot of this comes with having to taper, carb load and I still am trying to lose weight as well. Oddly enough I am looking forward to the next 3 races only to get train again with nothing holding me back April and May. But 2 weeks ago I did 80 miles which was my longest weekly mileage in a few months. Last week I put in still around 50 miles when all was said and done. I feel good with the shorter and log runs 20+ miles that I have run recently. With this being a 31 miler I think my only weakness in trailing is the speed work. I need to get back to doing sprint work more often so that I can raise my Vo2 and also be faster on the flats. Training wasn’t perfect but on a scale of 1-10 probably an 8.
I am as usual terrible anxious the race week leading up to a race. This week is no different. My emotions start usually on Monday as I think of the the past, what I have been through and start to gain clarity. Just like previous weeks as well I start carb loading on Sundays and start dialing in the food as the week progresses. Mentally this race presents some variables that I have not encountered yet in my short lived Ultra Career. I am excited to have one of my good friends and also one of the founding members Jeremy Hanson in the race with me. Jeremy DNF at Cactus Rose and he has been bitter every since. I know we are in a race but I am extremely happy because I know Jeremy will do great and I cant wait to see him finish an Ultra. Also this is the first time that we have had all 4 of the founding members at once race. Rachel and Jose will be manning the mile 5 aid station so I am excited to be able to see them as we cross the loop 3 times. I also enjoy having my wife at the races because I want to make her proud. I realize that she wouldn’t thing any less of me if I Dnf’d or came in first but there is something inside of me as a man that makes me want make her proud of me no matter what. I race because I love it but when I am out there running I use whatever I need to push myself. A lot of times its thinking of my family that has past and the family that I have know that have cared enough to love me. But mentally as of this second I am so excited because I also realize this course is flat and as long as I don’t bomb i will get a PR.. That alone makes me want to crush every step I take from start to finish.
My Plan of Attack
My plan of attach is to wear my new AK Race Vest from Ultimate Direction which will hold food, water and supplies. I know this loop has a water station every 2.5 miles and a drop bag every 10.. That tells me one thing and that is a lot of stops that I don’t want to utilize. My plan will be the same as Bandera which is a suicide run to the finish. I want to come out fast and never come of the pace. I would like to either have side cramps, vomit or both my mile 15 and then hit the half way point and gut it to the finish. I want to only hit the aid stations every 5 miles eliminating 2 per loop and only stop at mile 20 at bag drop to grab food. So only water at 5,10,15,20 water/food,25 water, finish to 31. With this strategy i think I can keep my total stoppage of time to under 10 min and that is a goal.
I never go into a race without a goal or even a training run. I don’t believe in junk miles and I surely don’t believe in just entering a race without preparation. So here are my goals.
#1 Make sure that I enter and finish that race and have a great time. That means being kind, respectful and friendly.
#2 Watch Jeremy finish his first Ultra and officially becoming
#3 Keep my stoppage time under 10 min for the whole race.
#4 6:42 is my PR for 50k set in January. I have to beat this and set a new PR.
#5 My time goal is this 5:30. The great part of this goal is that I dont know If i can do it.. But Im going to go for it.
#6 My ultimate goal. Sub 5 hr finish. This will be all that is on my mind. Sub 5 hr finish.
So tonight I will get all my food and gear ready for the race. I will mentally go over the race my plans. Making sure that all my details are covered. Drop bags, food, gear etc… I will wake up around 4 am and get a good 180 grams of carbohydrates in. Then Ill be ready to run hard and fast.
Updated on February 24, 2013
Product: S-Lab Sense Size 10
Review Dates: 10/1-2/1 (4 months)
Estimate Mileage: 400+ Miles
Estimated Time: 60 Hrs +
5’9″ 184lbs 34 years old
90% with Socks 4 different companies (Drymax,Salomon,Swiftwick,Injini)10% without any socks
Ran with shoe insert for first 100 miles then removed for remaining 300+ Miles.
Shoes were used on hard packed surfaces, some soft ground, raining/muddy conditions and very minimal road use.
Shoes were run in training runs from 2 miles to 40 miles.
Shoes were also used in Both Cactus Rose 50M Ultramarthon and Bandera 50k Ultramarathons.
The story of the Salomon S-Lab Sense is that the shoe is built for Killian Jornet to win at the Western States Race. If you want the full preview and specs please visit Irunfar preview HERE
Here are the shoes before I started running in them.
It has been a 4 of months since I started running in the Salomon S Lab Sense shoe and I wanted to push the shoe as hard and far as I could before I made the reviews.
I have put approximately 400 miles on the shoes, 82 miles of which was in a race setting in Bandera Texas during Cactus Rose and Bandera. The Shoes still perform today after 400 miles as they had when I opened them back in October.
The shoes are incredibly light. These size US 10s′s weighed in at around 7.5oz. After running in these shoes I know that weight matters in distance racing. The ounces although small make you feel like you have more when you are running uphill and have nothing holding you back going downhills. I also own Pure Grits, Hokas, MT 10 and Altra and you can feel the difference in every once once you get out of them.
The fit is comparable to a slipper that is on your feet at any given time. I think the best part of the shoe is it feels like that you aren’t wearing any shoes. It give you a a barefoot feel and the inner sock allows you to wear the shoes with or without socks as well. The speed laces are perfectly placed and once pulled tight the laces hide away in a convenient ouch in the tongue as well. Although the Sense fit tight once you snug them up I usually found that after 10-15 minutes they loosened in time and my feet felt very comfortable. Noting the snugness in all of my 400+ miles in these shoes I never wore gaiters and never had a rock, twig or pebble get in the shoe. The slipper like feel and the tightness of the shoe really makes you feel like you are wearing a glove and are the Best Fitting Shoes I have every worn.
The outsole of the shoe is probably the best since it combines very good grip and a flexible platform to run on. The upper part of the shoes was very flexible and let the shoe air out through the process. I never had issues with hot spots in the shoes and never felt like my feet were getting warm. The toe cap that surrounds the front of the shoes is protective but also flexible as well. I did receive 2 black toenails while racing through Bandera in the shoes through the rocks but I have hit my feet hundreds of times in these shoes throughout the wear of them. I also took the shoes into 1 foot water to check the durability and drainage. Everything after running through standing water the shoes drained very quickly with no sloshing and no added weight in the shoe. I was also very surprised on the shoes capabilities for being in mud or slid conditions. Recently in Bandera it was a cross between a mud fest that caked on your shoes and a slip and slide on muddy rocks. The S Labs still gripped over the downhills with mud slick rocks and when running I noticed they didnt cake up as much as the other people I had passed.
I have never owned or run in anything that makes you feel like the S Lab Sense has. There are no comparisons on the craftsmanship of these shoes or the way that they perform. What made we wait to buy them was the reports of 100km-200km is all that the consumer would get out of the shoes. As I started to build mileage in them I became more confident and a better runner. The shoes help you to run more efficiently and in the end have better form as a runner.
It seems like the shoes will stay around $200 although the new Salomon Mantras are around $140 and the S Lab Sense Ultra are $180. I think they are worth every penny of the $200 and once I get finished with tearing them into shreds I will order another pair. I personally want to have the shoes that fits the best, makes me most confident and a better runner.. If you are like me then the Salomon S Lab Sense is the best shoe money can buy.
If you are wondering whats next…
Rob Goyen 2/6/2013
Updated on January 31, 2013
My name is Rob Goyen, I am writing this blog as a way to share my life with everyone. I thank you for taking an interest into reading this blog and understanding who I am.
Some people get the opportunity to be great by birth. Some people get the perfect genes and a peaceful start at life. I am not one of those people. I was adopted to an abusive family at 3 days old. The first 16 years of my life I don’t remember much, because remembering the good times (though few) means I have to open the scars of the bad times. I was a child they couldn’t break at 5 years old; they couldn’t beat me to submission. Unknowingly to me, these horrendous circumstances would later fuel my life motivations.
The emotional and physical abuse I suffered through childhood severely contributed to my struggles with obesity. I used food to hide my emotions to satisfy the happiness that I yearned for. I went through school larger than life and running would always be something I knew I could never do. Soon after high school, in 1999, I married and settled into life. As the pounds piled on I thought it was just natural. I was the big, fat and funny guy who used food and humor to mask all the pain inside. Later, at 30 years of age, after my divorce I slipped into a dark place where food and alcohol became my coping mechanisms to avoid acknowledging my past.
This is me in the middle with my 6x tshirt.
At 31 I was 347 pounds in September of 2009. I was a morbidly obese, smoker, and alcoholic whom had never run before in my life. The day after this picture was taken my best friend on the left told me that I was spinning out of control and I was eventually going to kill myself with this unhealthy lifestyle. I started making life changes soon after and met my wife to be in April 2010. She was then a student studying Nutrition at the University of Houston studying to be a Registered Dietitian (RD). As the year progressed I started understanding healthful eating and began modifying my diet. By changing the way I ate and doing minimal exercise I lost about 50 pounds that year. Exercise was a big challenge to me since I was still a pack a day smoker.
On January 17th 2011 my now wife made a statement that would change my life forever, “Quit smoking, or I’m leaving you.” She hated that I smoked and finally let me know how serious that hate was. It was the first time that someone had cared more about me than I did myself. I quit smoking that day. Jan 19th I began a runner. I still have my first mapmyrun on my desktop: 1 mile, 17 min. I can still remember the agony that I felt as I sprinted 30 yards only to start walking. I can remember wondering how in the world people even ran 1 mile. Once I started running, I decided to run a half marathon with my other best friend, Jeremy Hanson, in San Antonio for my birthday that November. I began to love the challenge of running and completed the half marathon in Nov with 6 other friends. As soon as I left that race I began to wonder if I had more in me, if I could run farther. The next weekend I ran 20 miles. Through the running and weight loss I experimented with vegetarianism and went completely vegetarian in December of 2012.
In the midst of all the healthy choices I was making, I was still continuing to abuse alcohol. Fat Tuesday (Februrary 20th, 2012) would be the last night I would be alcoholic. I had promised to quit drinking for years, but this night was unlike others. As I laid there unresponsive my wife asked me why I had been drunk yet again. I had no answers for her or myself. That day I went to an AA meeting and quit drinking. I then decided to run the Grasslands Ultra 50miles in March 2012 sober. I will admit I had never run on the trails, and was completely in over my head, but trained hard and thought I was ready. Mile 17 of the race I hit a rock with my right foot and fractured it in 3 places. I decided to continue, but ended up DNF’ing (Did Not Finish) at 33 miles- which was my longest run to date.
After 6 weeks of healing I was back to running. At the end of May 2012, I was running the circle around memorial park and I was bored. I ended up going up the street and coming back when I saw a white fence that looked like an opening. I can remember that day like it was yesterday. As soon as I made my way through the fence on that muddy day the rain started to come down and my life as a trail runner began. I always tell people that trail running found me. I was looking for something different that day and trail running was it. Since that day, I have continued to loose weight, (I’m down 163 lbs), continued vegetarianism, remained sober (and counting), and completed the Cactus Rose (50 miler).
After Cactus Rose I realized that it was time for me to give back to the community that had supported me during all of my major life changes. On December 17th, 2012 (my one year wedding anniversary) I started Houston Area Trail Runners (HATR). Houston Area Trail Runners is a trail club that will enable us to give back to the trails we run, encourage those who run with us, and inspire those who want to change. We recently debuted our club at the Bandera 100k Trail Championship a few weeks ago with a great amount of support.
So if you have read this far then you can see from above that one man’s change can make a difference in the lives of many. But it is my time to give back and to share to people the real story of real people. I wasn’t a track star in high school; I didn’t come from great genes or run a 2:12 mile. But I am a real person who despite all the worst situations in life decided to take a stand and take my life back one day at a time. These sacrifices and tribulations have led me to the place where I want to share the power of change.
Thank you for reading this. I will blog on my struggles, my happiness and my life. Subscribe and watch as it all unfolds.