Saturday, July 11, 2009


A ton of stuff to catch up on with this post, so please bear with me... :)

First of all, it was a decent training week. Not a great training week like last week by any means, but definitely not a lost week like the last two weeks of June. Sunday was a rest day, Monday was an unexpected rest day as well (i.e., work!). I got in a good run Tuesday morning. Then the piece de resistance of the week - a run at 3:30 in the morning. I knew I needed to get in a run, because Thursday was going to be another bear of a day... but I had to leave for a one and a half day business trip to Arizona on a 6am flight. So I set the alarm clock for 3:15am, and shocked myself by actually running at a decent pace:

After that small victory, I took another (scheduled) rest day on Thursday before getting in my every-three-weeks long run on Friday. 14 miles in 2:12. And then a rest day (a vacation day!) on Saturday. Sure, it was only three runs, but three pretty solid runs.

And besides, there was no way I was going to be able to ride this week... the Specialized was in the shop. I mentioned in my last post that my bike was "fixed but having some shifting problems". Unfortunately, it wasn't fixed. I took the bike into River City Bicycles on Monday to finally get it fitted and had their mechanics look at it to see if they could adjust the shifters for me. The mechanic that I got pointed out that the derailleur hanger was still bent, and I left it with them to repair. After more adjustment, and replacement of a bent derailleur, I'm finally back in action. I think... since I haven't gotten a chance to take it out on the roads yet.

Sure, I should have gotten some swimming in. There was a brief glimmer of a plan to do that Thursday afternoon, but between travel fatigue and the opportunity to attend an interesting technical lecture at work scuttled that plan.

And now for something completely different... a few weeks ago, I promised a review of the book Spent by Frank Lipman.

My overall impressions were distinctly mixed. On the plus side, he makes some very good points:
  1. "Western" medicine doesn't account for the holistic interactions of the body's systems and things like environmental contaminants, processed foods and the likes.
  2. Naturopathic and Eastern medicine offer some great complimentary approaches (not alternatives) to Western medicine in treating some of the chronic ailments that affect cube-dwellers like myself.
  3. Life has to be approached in whole - looking at diet, stress, lifestyle, habits, spirit, etc. to address quality of life. Just popping a pill (or just getting acupuncture or just _______) will not "fix" things alone.
Within the book, Dr. Lipman offers a lot of great insights into Eastern / Naturopathic remedies. That being said, I didn't find this part of the book that useful, since I've read up on a lot of his suggestions on the naturopathic side (yes, I have a naturopath, and if she suggests or prescribes something, I'm going to read up on it before ingesting it - same as I do with my general practitioner). But those not familiar with these treatments may find it useful - as long as you take some of it with a grain of salt.

Why the grain of salt? Some of the statements in the book are just flat out wrong. For example, Dr. Lipman maintains in one part of the book that homogenization of milk creates new fats. Looking at the context, it's pretty clear that he's saying that "new fats" means chemically different. I hate to tell the man that homogenization does break up fat globules into smaller globs, but it's still the same fat. If you take a stick of butter and cut it into 16 pats, it's still butter - not dynamite. I realize that taking perfectly good grain and turning it into white bread takes out a lot of the nutrients and pretty much ruins the end product health-wise, but his scattered fear mongering makes me wonder a) how many other mis-statements are in there that I didn't catch, and b) why he feels the need to scare people with falsehoods when there are plenty of scary truths out there about modern diet and stress.

Bottom line: he's got some good ideas, but I'd hesitate to recommend his book to anyone that doesn't already have a solid grounding in both diet/nutrition and naturopathy.

The last tidbit this week is something I mentioned earlier in the post... vacation! Christine, the girls and I are heading down to San Diego for a few days of R&R. A nice family road trip. Today we made it to the Redwood State and National Parks of northern California. As you can see below, we found a nice toppled tree to give us a good background for some pictures. :) I'm not sure what internet connectivity I'm going to have the rest of the trip, so I might not check in again with y'all until the 20th. Until then, aloha!

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