Thursday, July 30, 2009

What do Kenyans Eat + Gnarly Workout

<--- Lights out hot huh?! That's like my favorite model who I have a super crush on.  But let's face it, she may be good looking, but there's just something about my bike, my running shoes and a free day that doesn't come close. 

So I was reading a bit today on what elite Kenyan athletes eat in the prime of their seasons. And wouldn't you know it, with the rare exception that they consume meat (only 4 times a week) they are pretty much vegans! (gasp!).  In looking at their diet which powers their running - oftentimes they do two-a-days with the AM run being 9 miles, of which 3 miles happen at a 4 minute pace - we find that due to their poverty, they leave out many western foods that are prominent on our grocery shelves.  What am I talking about?
Granola, Cereal, Candy, Soda, Chips, White Rice, all fast food, coffee (caffeine for that matter). They take ZERO supplements. Nothing, zip, nada.  Somehow, they have it in their right minds that if they eat the RIGHT types of food, they'll be supplied with all their nutrients without taking a pill. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm....sounds like a raw vegan!

And so, their diet follows the diet most widely prescribed by doctors for endurance athletes. Roughly 86% of calories come from carbs with the remainder from fats and protein. They don't eat out (no restaurants in the Sahara that I know of) and always cook their food.  No electrolyte drinks, no gels, no gu's....just natural power. What a novel idea. A stimulant-drug-caffeine-free athlete. No way. Honestly, if we took away their meat source (chicken or beef) I'm sure they wouldn't complain. It's been known for a while how hard meat is to digest and was the main reason I became a vegan - for athletic performance.  The diet also uses whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, ugali (corn meal) and tons of fruit (my favorite).

And while Kenyan runners are not raw vegans, I think it's safe to say we share some common principles: fruits and veggies are where it's at. No doubt homie...fruits and shoots...get em in you however you can. Meat = Slows you Down. It's simple. It's been known for DECADES! Okay, I'm ranting now...onto my hellacious Kenyan-inspired workout.

1 mile warm up at nice 6:18 pace.  Then comes insanity.  In preparation for Kauai, today's workout was 3 x 2 mile negative split intervals at average grade of 3.4% (recall, Kauai is only 2%).  Paces were the following:
Interval 1 - 5:56 (hard as hell at that grade)
Interval 2 - 6:34
Interval 3 - 6:27
Oh, and let's not forget the AM bike ride that included a gnarly 19% climb.  
Favorite part of the ride: Seeing people walk up the hill and then see me bike it and gape in awe.  

Soon, interval 2 will look interval 1 and then we'll run 4 intervals next week. Come hell or high water, I will own those damn hills of Kauai. 

Diet was all over the place. I've been going ape shit on cooked carbs and this is something I should stop soon. Here we go:
Pre-bike - Ultima electrolyte blend
Post-bike - Ultima electrolyte blend
Breakfast - Green smoothie with cacao granola
Lunch - Fruit smoothie with Vega Bar thown in (chocolate flavor raw bar)
Dinner - Green smoothie with granola and 2 oatcakes. Again, need to stop this. 
Snacks - water, brown rice ball and 1st Endurance energy drink blend during intense run.  This brand is growing on me but most of their stuff is made with caffeinie, whey protein and all that other garbage.  

Tomorrow is a hill day in the AM on the bike followed by more biking in the PM with Sarah. And can you guess Saturday? 75 mile ride with Halekoa Drive thrown in (nastiness) and then a half-marathon that mimics Kauai.  Holy shit...I can't wait to start my Saturday off right.
Until tomorrow peeps...

Currently playing on iTunes: Ice Cube - It was a good day

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Daily Log 7/29/09 - Kauai Half Marathon Preview

Here's what is being said about the Kauai Half Marathon
"Get your hill-work in now"
"First 7.5 miles are at average of 2.5%.  What sadistic organizer makes a course that begins with 8 miles uphill."

The last comment hit home as this is what it felt like climbing the steep hills of San Francisco - albeit not performing the action (saved that for after the race! Just kidding. Or am I?).  Basically, the race begins with 8 miles up. Sweet. Then it begins a 5 mile downhill at an average grade of 3%.  Can you say blazing fast finish?  

Normally, I'm not a fan of gels or sports drinks but something tells me, it's going to take everything to get to the top of that climb at the pace I want to hit.  Starting this weekend, I'll be experimenting with gels, ideally organic ones. I know Clif Shot Blocks are decent and as long as it doesn't taste like straight salt I'll be okay. No chance or running a fast race on this course. It'll be brutal going up and quick on the descent. 

As such, I began training today for the Kauai Marathon, 2 days after I ran my first half marathon! So it should come as no shock that today was a lot of hills and tomorrow will be - you guessed it - more hills. 

Exercise Log
AM: Hill climb bike ride. Up and down diamond head on big gears. Up Kilauea Street and climbed many other small but steep hills along the way. Solid morning bike ride. 
PM: 15 minute bike warm up, followed by a 7-mile stint of insanity.  1 mile warm up and then 6 miles at the following grades: 3%, 3.5% and 4%.  At the 4% grade, average pace was 6:24 going up and trust me that was PLENTY hard.  But we'll tame this baby soon. 
After this was a solid 30 minute session of spinning with my good fried Sarah. She routinely kicks my ass in this class and 'dances' far better than I do on the bike.  And for a kayaker, that aint too shabby either.

Diet Log:
Pre-bike: Electrolyte Drink
Post-bike:  Electrolyte Drink (I swear, I drop these things like third period french class!)
Breakfast: Huge green smoothie with raw 'granola'.
Lunch: All fruit smoothie with bananas and a LaraBar thrown in.  Slowly growing fond of the apple pie flavor (
Dinner: ANOTHER green smoothie plus two oatcakes and raw 'granola'.  I was particularly hungry this morning.
Snacks: banana, water, kale salad and barley-hijiki salad.

I think I burned close to 3,500 calories on the day. Ohhhh boy and just think...we get to do it all over again tomorrow!
Oh and if you haven't checked out the article written by one of my sponsors, here's the facebook link for all you tech-savvy people out there:
I myself haven't ventured into the twitter world yet...far too complicated and I'm still getting over the new version of Microsoft Excel (and trust me, as a person that picks only low-lying fruit, this is outrageous!)

Tuesday Downloads:
Dirty Vegas - Tonight.  Again, iTunes laid an egg this Tuesday. Nothing really worth downloading except this song.  Slowly but surely, Lady GaGa and her voice is growing on me. Check out 'Eh Eh, theres nothing else I can say'.  Pretty good song to bike to on those recovery rides.  

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Daily Log 7/28/09 - Sinking in but does it matter?

So it's starting to sink in...that I podium placed on my first go around in a brutal half marathon competition.  Interestingly, this time automatically qualifies me for Boston and NYC half marathons.  Hmmmmm

Similar to Scott's experience, it's been trippy to pull this off.  I too am looking forward to seeing what I can do on a flatter course.  Unfortunately, my next race, Kauai Half Marathon will be difficult and not flat.  One of these days I'll do a fast course and really go all out. 

Still recovering a bit from the race on Sunday but was good enough to put 3 solid miles on big hills running a decent pace.  Calves and ankles not in as much pain. Tomorrow will be a good distance run, probably around 8 miles at a nice 5:50 pace. One thing I plan on doing tomorrow is cutting back on the cooked food. Not that I'm saying it's bad, as I'm still well within my weight range (130-140), but just want to be a bit more disciplined with my approach. 

Exercise log:
AM: 1.25 hour bike ride. Rain in the morning made for some bad ass bike conditions and with my jersey unzipped, I was smiling big time!
PM: 30 minute bike 'warm-up', then 30 minutes of intense hill work running.
Then, 1 hour spin class where I was 'dancing like contador' climbing hills on the stationary.  Oh I imagine the heart rate touched 175 at the most. Nothing too crazy.

Diet log:
Pre-bike: electrolyte drink
Breakfast: green smoothie with raw granola
Lunch: All fruit smoothie with a LaraBar thown in for good measure.  also, had some really tasty lady finger bananas. Super sweet and packed with flavor. Love these things!
Dinner: Green smoothie with raw granola.  Get the idea here - breakfast and dinner are easily digestible smoothies.  I like sweet smoothies but my mom loves savory ones. 
Snacks: Water, brown rice ball, barley and hijiki salad, oatcake.  Need to cut down on the snacking...BIG TIME.

tomorrow, my only snack will be the brown rice ball and a kale salad. And I could probably do without the larabar too. Just keep the sugar and wheat free oatcake. Those things are like legalized crack cakes...way too good. And the woman makes them special for me. No sugar, no flour, all organic.  Ingredients:
Whole Oats
Canola Oil
Apple Sauce

That's it. 

Monday, July 27, 2009

Daily Log 7/27/09 - +1 day

A third place finish makes me worthy of a Cafe Gratitude raw vegan pizza. I wolfed it down as you can see without reservation. Look at how INTENSE I am compared to Emily. I mean, it's just a no-brainer who likes to eat more!  In truth, it's her, she eats a house and is still beautiful as ever. 

Wow, it's just now starting to sink in. At my gym, people were going up and congratulating me...very unexpected and once again, surreal.  What I can safely say is that my legs felt rested this morning....and then I went cycling and afterwards, POW, soreness came on big time. Either I need to tone down my cycling somehow while still getting in workouts or have intense runs 3 days out of the week and not run the other 4.  The latter is unlikely as I cannot go that many days without running - it would totally kill me! Well, that's not true, Emily would take care of that first ;-)

I was totally sore but it felt good knowing that I acquitted myself well on the field.  There is no finer feeling than knowing that I tried my hardest on something and came up with a decent result.  However, along with this result comes higher expectations but I know that from here, it gets harder to race faster and multi-train.  

The next two months look like absolute hell to try and get through. I'll basically taper up this week and begin honest workouts next week for roughly three weeks. Then it's a taper down again for the Kauai Half Marathon September 6th and then, a few weeks later, the Humboldt County half-marathon.  This race has a super strong field of runners that put out some blazingly fast times. Winner posted a 65 for the whole half.  My understanding though is that it's a very fast course to begin with with long straights and longer downhills.  Regardless, I'm positive I can't get top 3 but I am already foaming at the mouth to challenge bigger and better runners because hey, that's how we improve.  

Today's log was pretty crappy. Eeked out a 6 mile run at like a 7:30 pace which felt like a 5 minute pace after the race! did a ton of situps with weights and then without weights. I can only imagine that my stomach is going to hurt like hell tomorrow!
Diet was off the charts 'bad' as in some cooked food. Ugh.

Pre-bike: Electrolyte drink (again, vegan, GMO-gluten-soy-sugar-free, made with stevia)
Post-bike: More electrolyte drink
Breakfast: Green smoothie with raw granola
Lunch: LaraBar thrown into a smoothie made of blueberries and bananas
Dinner: ANOTHER green smoothie with granola.
Snacks: Water, brown rice ball, Amy's vegan bean burrito, barley salad with edamame and lettuce. I need to stop eating so much brown rice if anything. But I have to admit, it's incredibly tasty! They make it with shiitake mushrooms and fresh veggies that I usually consume with an entire head of romaine. It's SUUUUPER good, believe me on this one!

Tomorrow will be an AM bike ride and perhaps a light hill run depending how I feel or pedalling it out more on the stationary. I'm so sore around my lower ankle region just behind my calf. Nothing wrong with the joint but the muscle is just very stressed I think. Oh well, looking forward to some good rest tonite.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

1:20 minutes of hilly San Francisco and...

I placed 3rd overall in my first ever half marathon.  I was a bit disappointed in the times as I was hoping to run much faster but there were so many hills that it made a consistent effort almost impossible.  Anyone who has run around SF knows how steep these bad boys are too (in excess of 20%).  Regardless, my parents, my coaches and myself were shocked at the result.  When my dad - who was standing at the finish line - realized I was coming in third and hauling ass, he jumped and said 'Holy shit! That's my son!'. I wish I could have seen that...priceless I would think.

What an experience. I did almost everything according to plan. And truth is, I'm still in a little shock about the outcome. I have yet to come back to earth not because I'm elated but because I feel like I had a hard workout and that's simply my job as an athlete: to stress my body to no end...and repeat.  

But again, this was a first for me. I learned a lot but it will take some reflection time on my part to really figure things out. Still in awe about what happened. Surreal would be the better adjective.  As I realized what happened after crossing the finish line, I got pretty emotional.  And while 3rd place isn't all that great and 1:20 isn't a fast time (I challenge you to try and bust 1:10 on this course. Supppper HILLY!), this was a solid experience to build from.  I was 16 seconds away from second place and had the guy not looked back to see me kick, I think I would have caught him in the last quarter mile.  We'll get em next time.
Here is the link that shows the times.
Apparently, I'll be in the newspaper tomorrow too. Again, surreal. When I have a chance to sit and reflect, I'll write a longer post but for now this will have to do.  The picture is of the Bridge and the Starting Line for Wave 1 athletes.  Will write more soon. 
Scott - you're next in line to show people what us vegans can do.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

T-minus 1 day, 5:30am start, Wave 1

As the title says, we're 24 hours away from the start time of my first ever half marathon! I have to admit, I'm a little nervous as I don't know how I'll do and whether or not I can put together a respectable time.  I feel as if I'm running for so much more than just myself but a slew of people and the companies that sponsor and support me, day in and day out.  I guess, right before the storm hits, I am reflecting on a lot of what's gone on and the journey.  

almost 6 months ago, I was running 20 minutes a day because I wanted to feel better.  Things were happening and I knew I was on the path to taking responsibility for my health. Now, I'm on the eve of running my first ever half marathon and the scariest thought I have right now is, 'I'm not sure I can win'. Let's paraphrase that differently.  'I am unsure I'm going to win my first ever half marathon and beat out people who are professionals and have 10x more experience than I do at running'. When I think about this, I feel better because I think, what the hell do I have to lose! 

So here we go, with an open mind and an (almost) empty stomach, I'm ready to roll.  Today was the first day in a few months I did no running. It felt odd and strange. It felt, 'normal'...the sensation of what 'normal' everyday people go through.  I watched a lot of TV (tour de france of course), rested and messed around on the internet. Unproductive and non-athletic.  Two adjectives that could describe me a few months ago and now, are far removed from the runner lining up tomorrow. 

Supposedly, the run will be hell going through the hills of San Francisco and it will be painful, long and hilly - according to a runner at the expo.  Funny...this is how EVERYONE has described the other races I did. So what can we say: it will be hard, hilly and painful.  At 5:30am, all hell breaks lose. But you know....that's just what I want and expect.  To pound the point home, I'm wearing my polka dot nike socks that signify 'King of the Mountains' at the Tour de France for the best climber.  And while I may not be the 'King of the Mountains' yet, I will do my best and run for the many people that support me and my endeavors.  Until tomorrow afternoon everyone. 

Whop ass time: 5:30am
Pleasure time: Sometime before 7am.
Celebration feast: 1 ENTIRE Amy's vegan, rice spinach and 'cheese' pizza with a big salad.  Dessert will be a slice of raw 'cheesecake' from Cafe Gratitude. 

See you on the other side.  Let's show em what vegans can do tomorrow. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Traveling Tonight, 11pm red-eye. Yuck.

So yeah, the day has arrived where I fly back home again (finally). 4:50 cannot come soon enough in my opinion and I'm excited to race on Sunday. My legs, knees and quads are slowly starting to recover from the intense dual-pounding from the bike and cycling regimen. I have to say, this break is much needed as I think my body needs to heal itself before my next race (Kauai 1/2 Marathon) and my cycling schedule my coach is devising. Frankly, the next couple weeks will make the last 5 weeks seem like a pleasure cruise. I'm talking intense hill repeats with the bike at 12% AVERAGE gradients in the AM and then brutally fast runs in the PM. The goal is to bust a 1:10 half marathon time before my first year of running is over which in my opinion is a great goal.

Tonite, I won't even run (!) and will just do an hour on the bike at a very, very easy cadence. We're talking a heart rate that barely breaks 100. Interestingly, at a 7:30 pace, my heart rate is now 110 bpm. I'll probably rest a bit at the gym and watch the Tour de France for a while, go back home and blend my dinner. Tonite, it's going to be:
2 bananas
2 mangoes (hand-picked Hawaiian hayden mangoes...extremely fragrant)
1 pear
flaxseed and dulse (2 tbsp, 1 tbsp, respectively)
berries (as much as you got)
water (3/4 cup)
Kale (3 leaves)
Lettuce (1 whole head)
Ice (4 cubes)

I'll be traveling with a LaraBar and when I get back, my dad has some bananas on hand for me. Hopefully I can get some sleep. The next time I post, I'll be on the left coast back in the Bay Area. Man, i can't wait to get home.
Until then, Aloha!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tapering Down More...

As stated in an earlier blog, I'm tapering down a lot more this week and basically, the less gym time the better according to my running coach. Had a pretty nice hilly workout on the bike yesterday and climbed 8 small hills of varying grades and distances. Nothing intense like Halekoa though, that was a beast but I can say 'I DID IT!'. I'm going to start training on Halekoa I think twice a week when I get back because that hill is where it happens. If I can do that hill constantly at faster times, then I know I'll be unbeatable on hills. There's just no making up for constantly attacking hills that are truly NASTY and doing it repeatedly.

Pretty decent Monday although happy as hell when it finished. This week I'm tapering down lower and lower. Ran for an hour last night at my LSD pace and heart rate. Crazy to think that my 'super slow' pace is for other people their fastest pace. Humbling to recall that it all started 6 months ago for me and I've progressed this far with much more to go. I'm am constantly humbled by those around me and inspired my people who aspire for greatness.
The usual AM bike accompanied by a PM run and some situps.
Pre-bike: Electrolyte drink
Post-bike: Raw Vegan protein shake with coconut water
Breakfast: Green smoothie with GoRaw granola
Lunch: 2 bananas, all fruit smoothie with a larabar
Dinner: A berry-delicious green smoothie (get it! I'm such a smarty)
Snacks: Spirulina brown rice ball. Looking forward to kicking this habit frankly.

Today will be another light day. And thank god too. My body has been running ragged as of late.
Aloha! Alex

Monday, July 20, 2009

Daily Log for 7/19/09 - 65 miler + Mr. Contador?!?!

Yesterday, my friend and cycling team mate copped out due to 'late nite extremeties' so I was going solo. A day after Halekoa and a 10 mile run, I was good to go on a 'light bike'. That never happened as I was trying to bust the sound barrier for certain spurts. I have to say, it is just fun to cycle and do it quickly. I don't profess to knowing a lot about cycling but with time and quality coaching (so far, so good with my cycling coach) I am bound to improve.

Along the way, I was chomping on some LaraBars and some ProBars. Ran out of dates to make my electrolyte drink! Damn! So along the way it was the usual water stops and what not. But they had some papayas that I swear - if I wasn't a buddhist - I would forage those bad boys so quick!

I have some relatives visiting from out of town so I took them to a macrobiotic vegan place for dinner that serves Japanese style dishes. Good portions, reasonable price and 'healthy'. Some of it raw, most of it cooked. After we had dinner I felt unsatisfied as I was craving the fruit sugars. Where were they? No clue...certainly not on my plate. I had a grilled tempeh rueben with tons of vegetables and a hearty salad. Not too bad and definitely tasty but again, WHERE'S THE FRUIT!!!

To make matters worse, my blender crapped out this morning. Final week to go before the race. Countdown is 7 days from Monday. Tapering week. I have my nutrition and strategy plan for this week and the race itself from my running coach. Now all that's left is to just run the damn thing.

P.S. Anybody see Contador yesterday OWN the field on the hill with 5km to go? That guy is stupid fast.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Daily Log 7/18/09 - Halekoa, I got OWNED.

So today was a pretty amazing day athletically.
I did about 75 miles on the bike today and climbed 4 hills, one of which OWNED me (i.e. I called it 'daddy').  I think what made it worse is that I attacked this hill at the END of my workout, so I had roughly 55 miles already but I think I need to get used to this if I want to be a competitive cyclist and runner.  

The ridge is called Halekoa Drive and it's basically the second hardest climb in Honolulu. I'm pretty sure it would be called an Hors Category simply because it's so ridiculous.  Imagine if you can, 2.88 miles, straight uphill at an AVERAGE grade of 12% with a few 19-20%ers thrown in for good measure. There were no false flats, not parts to build momentum, just straight uphill HELL.  I distinctly remember two things about the climb:
1) The gaping look on the drivers coming down in awe that a cyclist was climbing this hill.
2) My legs felt like rubber afterwards.  Seriously, but it was an awesome climb.
Every turn there was a new climb and it seemed to get steeper.  I know this was the first time I climbed that hill but I know I'll get better at it. I want to train here a lot so that I get used to the intensity of that hill. I'm telling you, if I can climb that hill, I can climb almost* any hill.  

Here's the thing, overtraining. Positive I was doing this the first week.  This week should be nice though. Going to have some easy rides and a fun 65 miler tomorrow.  Food diet was all over the place. I'll spare you the details and say it was filled with bananas, nuts, oatcakes, oatcakes (many of them), dates, acai berry, salad, burritos, black-bean soup, flax crackers and pizza. Oh, it was a feast.  Take it from me, really tasty food. This week is my taper week so green smoothies galore plus light workouts. 

Today's workout log:
AM: 75 mile bike  + stupid hill workout. 
PM: 9.25 mile run at a light, light pace. This is tone-down week and carbo-loading on bananas and other starchy fruits.  

I have some relatives coming into at midnite tonite. Fun times. Hopefully I'll get enough sleep before tomorrow's workout. Aloha all!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Daily Log for 7/16/09 - Final Hard workout!

And to top it off, my favorite pro cycling rider - the racing kangaroo, Heinrich Haussler - won the stage at today's Tour de France. He rides for Cervelo test and is the gentlemen next to the dude in the yellow glasses in the below picture. He was descending the hills and he was literally out of his sittle and squatting in the bike. A crazy stance and I'm not even sure there's a picutre for.
************UPDATE************* Nope, there's no picture for it. =)

Yesterday's workout was absolutely grueling and my legs are totally shot. My cycling legs are gone since this was the first week that I worked them hard everyday and will continue to pound them into submission well into next week. However, my running will taper down significantly in anticipation of my race.

Anyways, here's yesterday's logs.
AM: Nice bike, climbed this short hill that increases in gradient ridiculously fast
PM: 1 mile warm-up at 6:47 pace. Then 3 x 2 mile negative splits at 5:27 pace. Soon enough, 5:24's will become my new best friend with respect to pacing. Stupid fast day.
30 minutes bike ride with 5 minutes of hell. Resistance up so high that when I stop pedaling, the bike just stops in its tracks, no coasting whatsoever.

Kind of good day in general. I'm settling into a nice morning and dinner routine which I'll pretty much stick to going into the race. Next week for 3 days will be straight smoothies and I'm not even joking!
Pre-bike: Electrolyte drink
Post-bike: Electrolyte drink
Breakfast: Huge green smoothie
Lunch: Fruit smoothie with banana and LaraBar thrown in for good measure.
Dinner: Another green smoothie
Snacks: Brown rice ball with veggies, water.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Daily Log for 7/15/09 - Solid Workout

Man, that was a solid 7 miler last night.
Warmed up with 1 mile at a pretty slow pace, probably something around 6:45 pace. Then, for the next 5 miles: 5:56, 5:49, 5:39, 5:30, 5:27 with the last two miles at uphill gradients.

After that, I did some spinning on the bike for roughly 25 minutes, 8 of which were all out sprints. Basically, I cranked the resistance up so high that when I stopped pedaling, the pedals stopped (no coasting). I was going all out on my sprints and climbs lasting 4 minutes on average. Just brutal, brutal stuff. It's funny to look at the people around me just walking, talking, picking their nose, etc...watching me huff and puff on a bike.

Tour De France is on and I have been religiously watching. That guy Cavendish is a winning machine and it was the photo of Cavendish vs. Haussler at Milan-San Remo that got me into cycling in the first place. I'll post it. It's sick.

Here's yesterday's diet log:
Pre-bike: electrolyte drink
Post-bike: electrolyte drink
Breakfast: Green Smoothie
Lunch: Smoothie cup with fresh bananas and a LaraBar for good measure. Yum.
Post-workout: sun-warrior raw vegan protein powder
Dinner: Green Smoothie
Snacks (baaaad snack day again!): Brown rice ball with mung beens and sprouts, raw veggie hummus wraps. I mean, clearly there are worse things but this was a bit much. Still, soooo sooooo good.

Today and Saturday are my final hell days and I cannot wait for them to be over. I'm so close now, I can taste the marathon. T-minus 11 days!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Daily Log for 7/14/09 - Happy Bday Andy!

Let me take this opportunity to wish a very happy birthday to my older brother who turned 32 yesterday. Wow! That's getting up there...well, not really but it certainly is older than my 24 years young. Anyways, I rarely speak to my brother which is such a shame but he has an active life and wife that keeps him busy...not to mention a job that's pretty ridiculous. Much love to you Andy.

Yesterday was okay, couple of decent climbs in the AM bike ride. I realized the hard truth about my running and cycling career. It's tough to do both but it certainly is doable. Try putting in roughly 13.5 hours of cycling per week at intense pace IN ADDITION to intense running. My body isn't used to the increase in cycle time but I'm using Scott Nydham as my inspiration. That guy bought his first road bike at 25 and raced his first race at 26. I'm racing my first 112 miler in a few months so there's hope for me yet. Here's the thing though, Scott isn't a long distance runner though.

Oftentimes, I find it difficult to tame my aspirations because I want to be sooooo good in a very short period of time. Nowadays, if i ratchet my pace up 10 seconds I feel it instantly! Same goes with my bike. I feel as if everyone is so much better than me that I must pedal harder at harder gears up steeper climbs in order to progress. This is poor training though as it does not allow for adequate recovery and hence, my need for looking into a bike coach, IN ADDITION to my running coach who has been a wonderful mentor for me.

Anyways, here was yesterday's blog. Poor, poor eating day by my standards.
Pre-bike: Electrolyte drink
Post-bike: Electrolyte drink
Breakfast: Green Smoothie
Lunch: JambaJuice all fruit smoothie with fresh banana on top
Post-workout: Sun-warrior protein shake (raw vegan)
Dinner: Green smoothie
Snacks (this is where I was baaaaaaaaaaaaaaad): Amy's Black bean burrito, Brown rice ball and 3 heads of baby romaine. I mean, it could be worse but let's just say I didn't feel great afterwards.

Workout Log
AM: 15 mile bike ride.
PM: 6 mile intense hill run. Final 2 miles were at average paces of 6:10 and 5:56 on steep climbs. Heart rate was like 175 - 180 so I was working!
20 minute cool down spin session on the bike.
Arms and stomach workout.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tuesday Downloads - Slim Pickins'

So it's Tuesday which means new releases at the iTunes store. Pretty shabby and disappointing to be perfectly honest. I was hoping for more punch but this  Tuesday was sorely lacking anything worth noting.  There were a few albums / songs that I downloaded.  Here are  Tuesdays picks:

Owl Eyes - Ocean City.  Pretty wild beats.  This is an electronic group that is pretty hit or miss.  This CD has some good tracks and some, well, not so much.

E-40 - On Oil.  Bay Area classic artist, I had no choice but to buy this track. Always support the local artists and E-40 is no exception.  Owner of FatBurger chains - gross - and founder of H + H (hungry and humble), I have listened this guy's music for decades.  And he's a Vallejo boy.

Like I said, there ain't much today!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Daily Log 7/13/09: I'm SPENT

<---- That's me devouring a raw vegan pizza from Cafe Gratitude, a sponsor of mine and an awesome place for a meal if you're in the bay area.  This picture was taken by the woman of my life, Emily, sometime in May. Just thought I'd put it out there.

Whew, after a long-ass weekend of riding and running my legs were spent this morning. Of course, this didnt stop my ignorant self from riding in the AM.  When I reached the bottom of this big hill, I found two more hills and said 'What the hell, let's go up em!'.  By the time I got to work, my legs were sore and stiff. I spent most of that day on my butt with my feet perched up on the trashcan, not because I'm lazy but because I needed to speed recovery before my next workout in the PM.  Oh, it was a hell of a 'recovery' day.  Thank god tomorrow is an easy recovery ride. Chances are though, I won't be able to help myself and will go up more hills. =)

Today's food log
Pre-bike: Electrolyte drink
Post-bike: More electrolyte drink
Breakfast: Green smoothie with DRAGONFRUIT! Plus some dates with some pecans. Yum.
Lunch: Blueberry, banana, strawberry and Acai smoothie with two fresh bananas on top.
Post-workout: Raw vegan protein powder from Sun-Warrior, a dragon fruit, grapes and more electrolyte drink.
Dinner: Massive green smoothie. Holy crap this one was big (out of respect for my grad school buddies..."that's what she said")
Snacks: Water and Brown Rice ball. 

Workout log
AM: 1 hour bike with hills thrown in for good measure
PM: 6 mile run. I was soooo sore before this run but then I just released when I started and finished around a 5:27 pace. 20 minute spin session with 5 minutes of pure hill work at 20% grade.  Some chest and some back work to finish up a nice session. 

This is my final full week of workouts before my race. Crunch time baby. Gotta dig deep to mash out this final week.   Let's do it.

Daily LogS for the weekend (note plural)

Yeah, I need to get better about posting on the weekend as I'm not really getting to it much. I'll try and work on that but was totally bummed because one of my favorite cafes closed down! This was a nice, lay-back internet cafe that had comfortable couches were you could literally flop down and watch youtube till the cows come home. Not to mention, they made a great cup of chammomile tea (back when I used to drink tea that is).

This weekend was totally awesome because I got to live the life of a pro athlete (my fantasy job combined with something intellectual, like being a freelance writer or something). Basically, for two days, I worked out a TON, layed around in the hot tub and cold plunge, ate really good food and was overall lazy. It was wonderful.

Here's Saturday's workout log:
AM: Biked 20 miles and climbed a super steep hill (20%!!!)
PM: Ran a half marathon and finished at 1:16. Crazy thing was I did it matter-of-factly on the treadmill. What turned into a good 8 mile run ended up being a half marathon again. Whew, that's crazy! I cannot wait until my race because before then, I'm going to be jumping out of my skin to race...

Sunday's log:
AM: Biked 65 miles!!! Climbed 3 hills at alight 7%. I was totally sore from the ride and run the day before but got through it just fine. I went so fast my team was telling me to tone it down! It was a lot of fun. Those guys are so quick on the bike that it's difficult to stay with them on the downhills but the hills are what I like the most. There's just something about pain-tolerance and knowing that you can climb steep hills that makes it all the more rewarding.
PM: More biking but I just spun it out for 25 minutes.

I watched a lot of the tour de france. It's crazy because everyone is always asking 'How's Lance doing?'. I get kind of annoyed with this question but in truth, it's understandable. Nobody follows cycling and only know Lance because of his story and popularity. For example, nobody asks, 'How's Alberto Contador doing?'..and he's one of Lance's biggest rivals (incidentally, they are teammates). Seriously folks, competitive cycling is THE HARDEST sport in the world. You could give me Deion Sanders in his prime and he couldn't finish a stage of the tour. He'd probably bonk around mile 55 (little does he know there are 100 more to go plus hills) and hobble back to the batting cages.

But, all good things must come to an end and now I'm back in my job. Ahh, the weekend's are wonderful. I have company coming soon and have to pick up my place for that. One thing I hate more than asparagus: cleaning.

Peace up, A-town down (or whatever the hell young people say now)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Daily Log 7/9/09: Much better!

What a difference one day of not being bloated makes! Goodness gracious! Granted I was still a tad bit gassy but it wasn't anything like yesterday.  Yesterday it was pretty much impossible to run quickly when it felt like I had a stone in my stomach. Ugh. 

What was different today? Well, I've been experimenting and for lunch, I chomped on a LaraBar with an all fruit smoothie from JambaJuice.  I've grown fond of their Acai cups with fresh banana and blueberries and I mix in a LaraBar.  I think a couple of factors were at work here.  First, the portion was not that big at sixteen ounces and the banana and LaraBar made it filing.  I felt satiated but not stuffed. And because fruit digests quickly with me, it worked perfectly.  And so the experiment continues to find the right balance that will cause NO BLOATING since this is my ultimate goal.  Great workout today as well, I was very pleased with the result.  In truth, I have just under 2 weeks left of rigorous training before I have to tone down and rest up for my race.  

Anyways, here's todays awesome log. Well, not really awesome but just nice to run without feeling gassy. That truly sucks.  Whew!

Training Log:
Pre-bike - Electrolyte drink (I'm going to start buying this as this has become a staple. Ultima is a vegan, gluten-free, wheat-free and organic company that makes a great powder)
Post-bike - Vitamineralgreen + Earth
Snacks: Cherry pie LaraBar, Brown Rice &  Bean ball wrapped with spirulina, water.
Lunch: Acai Cup (basically, a blended all fruit smoothie minus the juice they put)
Post workout: SunWarrior raw vegan protein pack (35 grams of raw vegan protein goodness)
Dinner: Huge Green Smoothie with fresh cherries, dates and GoRaw super cookies as the crunch topping.  Super good.

AM bike ride, about 15 miles
1 warm-up mile @ 6:30 pace.
6 miles at 5:46 pace, heart rate of 159-165.
1 mile @ 5:18 pace
1 mile @ 5:06 pace & on an incline

Tomorrow: Morning long bike ride will be about 18-20 miles. Hopefully longer if I can get up earlier.
Run will be a light 3 miles and weights.  Saturday will be a biiiig athletic day for me. And I mean, BIG.  I'm talking +50 miles on the bike TWICE and then running 14 miles.  Damn, that's going to be one sexy day.   =)

In the words of my friend Scott Spitz.  Run fast. Run Vegan (and Raw Vegan too)

Daily Log for 7/7/09: Bloating...yet again.

Oh man, that totally sucked. I wrote a long and lengthy post and for some reason blogspot had an error and now it's all gone. Do I believe in copy + paste now? You betcha.

Seeing as how my fingers are starting to hurt from all the typing I've been doing this morning, here's the skinny from what the previous, erased version spoke to.

In short, I had a horrible run yesterday due to intense bloating. I mean, INTENSE. I was gasey and had to stop running a few times to run to the bathroom. Which begs the question, if I ran to the bathroom (probably at a faster pace!) doesn't that count as running? But overall, the workout totally sucked and I'm taking special note since that makes two days this week where I was incredibly gasey to start my run. It's got to be from the food I'm eating which I'm going to look at more in depth. I was a bit of a pig yesterday so I'll have to tone that down. I'm about 5 lbs. off from my ideal race weight. However, I'm getting bigger I think due to muscle? Nah that can't be! Vegans aren't musuclar according to 'health experts'. =)

anyways, yesterdays log
Upon-rising: Electrolyte drink
Breakfast: Chocolate green smoothie
Snack: jamba juice all fruit acai cup
Lunch: Vegan chili with brown rice and 2 lbs of greens in a salad. Massive, massive salad!
Dinner: Green smoothie

Workout (Mr. Bloaty Bob)
8 miles at 6 minute pace. Pain, pain and pain. So not enjoyable. Let's try and not repeat that shall we?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tuesday Downloads - Thank god for the iPod store!

So every Tuesday, I refresh my music library a bit with some new tunes to run and bike with.  Here's what I'm listening to now. As a warning, my tastes are *eclectic* to say the very least.  Seriously, one week it could be jazz, another pop, another electronic, etc.  Okay, enough said, here's what's crankin' in the iPod:
1) Discovery LP - sick electronic beats. Just gnarly stuff. Check em out it's just too funky to not get into.
2) Oakenfold: Perfecto: Vegas.  A series of remixes done by the man himself.  Normally, Oakenfold doesn't digest well with me but this one wasn't bad.  Lot's of up-beat sounds and less vocals. I liked it. 
3) Mariah Carey Obsessed.  Okay, so the new single came out and as a BIG mariah fan, I had to. It's okay, I can see how millions will go ape-shit over this but I give it a 6/10.  Gotta love that angelic voice.
4) Ministry of Sound, Chilled.  Sick, sick ibiza mix.  I will be running 10 miles tomorrow to the tune of this track. Just a killer mix of songs on 3 CD's that just keeps the listener engaged and guessing about how each track will progress (i.e. when the synth will kick in, unexpected drumroll, etc)

So there you have it. In the words of Chappelle: "Turn them shits up!" . Song: Turn my headphones up.

Daily Log 7/7/09: Perhaps, we should tone it down? Nah!

So today I woke up excited to get on my bike and ride a quick 15 miles.  Dressed in my team Liquigas apparel, I took to the roads of Honolulu at 5:30am and shockingly, there were buses of tourists out and about getting ready to watch the sun come up while the waves come crashing.  It was unexpected to be honest. Imagine, pedaling your ass off up a hill only to be greeted by cheery-eyed tourists taking photos of you struggling. Nonetheless, I had a great climb and an even better descent.  However, I'm still getting used to the high speeds on the downhills.

I was at work and it was funny to think, the 8 hours I'm working I have my feet up not because I'm lazy but because this is my recovery time until my run workout.  I swear, my body is always recovering from stuff! Thankfully, illness is the last on that list and I suppose I have the raw vegan diet to thank for that despite the obvious stress I place on my body.

Today's run was tough as it was 6 miles, all up hill at a 6:49 pace at a high grade.  No breaks for water, just straight uphill with increasing gradient.  I checked my heartrate and let's just say it was up there because I was bookin on the last mile going at a 6 minute pace despite the climb.  I can feel it already because uphill running + biking = intense soreness of the quads.  Do I listen? Nope. I just plough through it all and know I will adapt.  That's the key as I see it, adaptation to the workout.   Anywhoo, today's log is below. Aloha, Alex.

Pre-bike - Ultima electrolyte drink with ONE coconut water
Post-bike - Vitamineralgreen + Earth
Breakfast - Green Smoothie
Snack - Green  Smoothie
Lunch - (I was bad here) Steel cut oats oatmeal, acai cup with organic granola and banana with chopped up larabar.  I probably could have done without the oatmeal. Ahhh, we'll get it down at some point!
Postwork out - SunWarrior Raw Vegan protein shake
@ Home - Ultima electrolyte drink
Dinner - Green Smoothie

AM - 15 mile bike
PM - 6 miles, all of which was uphill at increasing grades
Weights: Chest & back

Monday, July 6, 2009

Daily Log 7/6/09: Soreness Anyone?

Wow, I was sore from my double bike workout yesterday.  I apologize if I keep blogging about this but I truly love running and riding my bike (and Emily Ka Yi Tam...I'd be so dead if I didn't say this!) and I want to be a racer in both.  But, I know my heart lies in running and so despite the increased time on the bike, the running shoes ultimately wear the pants.  Having said that, I want to stress the importance of proper REST and active recovery.  

Like my friend Scott though, my biggest opponent is myself.  I tend to blast through things and I probably did that today.  I had a *very* unpleasant run.  Not because of soreness or lack of, this had to do with my lunch. I had a big salad with raw vegan 'crutons' and raw vegan 'mashed potatoes' and a vegan wrap.  During my run I was so bloated that I wanted to keel over.  LIterally, I had awful gas for some reason and I know it was my lunch.  Tomorrow, I"m going to try having an all fruit smoothie at Jamba Juice and chomping a LaraBar and seeing how that feels.  Basically, when you go to JambaJuice, you have to say you're a diabetic and have a dairy intolerance.  Then, all you end up getting is fruit and water. Perfect =)

Today's Log:
Bike: 20 miles
Run: 6 miles, 1 mile warm-up, 4 miles @ 5:50 pace, 1 mile at 5:30 pace. I would have gone longer had somebody not had terrible bloating and gas.  I swear it HURT so bad! Felt like i had rocks in my stomach...and at that pace. Ugh. 

Pre-bike: Ultima electrolyte drink
Post-bike: Vitamineralgreen + Earth
Breakfast: Green Smoothie - papaya, strawberries, kale, bananas, pear, romaine, hemp, cacao, flaxseed.  Topped off with some Living Intentions raw granola.
Lunch: Ugh. This sucked. Tasty but did NOT sit well. Raw vegan mashed potatoes, huge salad with raw vegan crutons. Mushroom 'cream' dressing and a vegan veggie-wrap (whole wheat tortilla, hummus and raw veggies).
Post-workout: SunWarrior raw vegan protein powder (35 grams of raw vegan power. Hell Yeah!)
Pre-dinner: Ultima electrolyte drink
Dinner: Green Smoothie - strawberries, kale, red lettuce, pear, apple, bananas, hemp, Vega, flaxseed.  Topping of Living Intentions raw granola.  Slowly, I want to ween myself away from this.
Snacks: None. That keeps me pretty full in fact!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sweet Ride today

So I usually take Sundays off from heavy running since I'll be doing heavy biking.  Today, I rode 70 miles, of which, 60 was with the new team I'm apart of, Team TradeWinds Hawaii.  A good group of guys all with tons of time on the bike, far greater and more experienced than myself.  I guess, the only thing I'm good for is climbing hills which is where I gain all the ground back.  I swear some guys are so deceptively fast on the bike too!

I had fun but it's clear that to be pro / semi-pro at biking you've got to put in the time.  And that my friends, is something that is in short supply for me.  So, starting tomorrow, I'm going to get in some bike work every morning (I do this already) but a longer ride with a faster pace.  IN addition to my bikes, my training will start to ramp up.  I've got 3 weeks until the SFM which pretty much means 2 more weeks of intense training before I taper off.  Before then, I'll run 2 10-milers at a fast pace and 2 more practice half-marathons.  It's an ambitious schedule but like my good friend Scott Spitz, I'm going to start logging everything along with my training and my food intake.  It will keep me on the straight and narrow because it gets serious starting tomorrow (as if it was not!). 

Today, I climbed a category 1 hill that was 18-20% on the bike which if you know about climbing, is no slouching matter.  What's crazy is I did this with the big gear in the front and at one point, had I not switched to the small gear, i would have fallen! It was such a steep climb but one that got me all hot and bothered about doing it again.  Such is the state of my life...hills and intense runs stimulate me. Sigh. 

Well, I've got a big day tomorrow and for the rest of the week.  Hope you all had a wonderful fourth and a restful weekend!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

My first half marathon!

So today, I ran the longest I've done at a certain pace and was pleased with the results.  I ran the first 7 miles at a 6 minute pace and the rest at a sub 6 pace and finishing in under 1:17.  I'm purposely going to avoid putting the real time down but just know that it was faster than 1:17, for which, I'm stoked about.  One of the reasons was prior to the race, I biked 25 miles and then ate a huge green smoothie for breakfast which didn't sit well while I ran.  I know that come race day, I'll be more than ready to roll and my nutrition will be good. 

Had some cooked food in the form of a bean-minsestrone vegan soup.  Made with vegetable broth, garlic, black beans, tomatoes, zucchini and fresh spinach thrown on top. Yummy stuff but definitely not raw which is ultimately what my body craves.

Tomorrow I've got a 55 mile bike ride and I'm going to take the day off running. I will however work out at the gym tomorrow.  I can't help but get excited about my bike ride tomorrow but starting Monday, things get serious.  I'll have 3 weeks before the race and so my diet will get pretty serious and my training.  

By the way, had some Clif Shot Blocks for running food and the strawberry flavor was great. Post race snack: Water, banana and some celery.  Quality stuff I tell ya!  Alright, I'm done for today, I've got to rest up for my bike ride tomorrow. I will be cycling with the whole team tomorrow and I know we'll be hauling ass down the hills.  Hope you all had a wonderful and safe fourth of July.  Aloha!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Ugh...I'm SOOO SORE!

So last night's workout was a beast! I mean an absolute killer! But certainly one that reminds you why you work so hard. Around repeat 7 at 5:13 pace, fatigue really started to set in and it was a great humble to check to know that elite runners run 5:13's like it's nothing. That my definition of hard is someone's 'easy pace' is more than enough motivation to keep me going. I think the key to achieving high paces like that adaptation.

My heart rate is one of the metrics i have of adaptation. I'm constantly running in zone 1 of my heart rate around 170-180 which is essentially race pace. But I know I'm starting to adapt because my 5:13 pace is at 175 whereas my 5:50/5:40 pace is 155-160. I assure you, one month ago, my 5:50 pace was at the 170 range.

I woke up this morning energized however and went for a short, 10-mile bike ride. This afternoon will be a quick 3 mile run and then a chest workout. Tomorrow I'll run a half marathon. I've already envisioned the split times. I'm going to shoot for the following:
Mile 1) 6min
Mile 2) 6min
Mile 3) 6min
Mile 4) 6min
Mile 5) 6min
Mile 6) 6min <-------------(I want to hit 36 or there about on the race at the 6 minute mark)
Mile 7) 5:50
Mile 8) 5:50
Mile 9) 5:40
Mile 10) 5:40
Mile 11) 5:30
Mile 12) 5:25
Mile 13) 5:15

I think the workout begins in earnest around mile 9 yeah? MIle 12 and 13 I'm looking forward tot he most. I know my legs will fail me somewhere between these two miles.
So I got some raw vegan granola from one of my sponsors and it will be the death of me! It's so incredibly good! Pineapple,Cashew, Macadamia Nut rawnola. Wow. You could sprinkle this stuff on cardboard and I'd probably eat it! =)

I hope for those of us that have today off we take a moment and reflect on that which we are grateful for. I for one am extremely grateful for my family and their loving support. I'm only as good as you guys. Aloha!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

My Love Relationships...

Okay, so Emily Tam is going to kill me if she ever reads this post (which I know she will) but in short, I'm in a three way love fest. I'm in love with my Specialized S-Works Roubaix bike, my Nike LunaRacer shoes and Ms. Tam Ka Yi. My dilemma is as an overprotective male, I know that when I'm with my bike, my running shoes are idle and vice versa.

Lately though, I've been waking up a bit later then when I'd like to so my bike riding time has been cut significantly short (!). But Saturday I'm looking forward to my ride. I'll probably go around25 miles easy and then turn around and ride bike. Sunday will be a 60 miler which I can't wait. And that's the weird part, I've really looked forward to my biking and my hard running workouts. However, the boring running workouts are definitely things I dread. Yuck.

Yesterday, my coach reminded me of my mortality and how young I am in the game of running. I know I want to be good and elite in running. I also want to be elite in cycling and right now, I'm on the fence about which one I like best. Ahhh, such a dilemma! Such is the case when you're young at heart! Tonite will be an intense run and these are the ones I love. Why? Because long about mile 5, my body says 'Stop' but my mind says 'Keep going, you can push harder'. This is when I really dig deep and ask questions. All runners know this. It's a point when you question your toughness and your ability to run through long bouts of pain. It's thankless because no one is cheering you on, no one really cares...except YOU. When I'm doing my track workout, no one can see me. No one gives a crap if I run a 5:10 or 5 minutes flat. To everyone else, I'm just some lunatic on a track running in spandex tights. To me, it's the world. It's carrying the load for many that look up to me for inspiration along the journey. I happily accept this responsibility and will continue to knock it out in my training.

'The man sees the mountain...the mountain sees the man.'
-Old proverb

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Question: What does YHP mean?

As you've noticed, this is called the You're probably wondering what the heck YHP means. Well, wonder no more, YHP is cantonese for 'Yee-ha-pa' which literally means 'double-chin'.
If you can imagine, my freshman year at Brown I weighed 190 lbs and when I moved out to Hawaii I was 185 lbs and had a, you guessed it, double chin - or 'YHP'. My closest friend, Emily, used to call me YHP and still does although I no longer have one. Instead, I have once chin thankfully! We thought this was a funny joke as it shows how different and extreme the change has been.

Basically, I went raw vegan or 'high-raw' in late January and that's when I began running. Crazy no? I never ran in college or graduate school and started in January 2009. 50 lbs lighther, I train to win races and cycle competitively with a team here on the islands. Interestingly, there are many who share a similar experience on the raw vegan diet. In fact, I met a family of 5 last weekend at Whole Foods Kahala who are all raw vegans! The boys are healthy and fit and they, like me, wouldn't have it any other way!
Anyways, now you know what YHP stands for. It is the wish of Emily and myself that everyone who reads this blog can be inspired to change their way of thinking, be grateful for life and always exercise compassion and moderation in all things.

NOTE: Emily is called 'GHP' which stands for 'Gou-Ha-Pa' which literally means '9-chin'. Of course, she doesn't have 9 chins (most of the time) but it's my joke for her!

Aloha from Honolulu!

Aloha Everyone!

Starting today, I'm introducing my new lifestyle blog,!
If you're reading this, you've clearly found my site and I'm happy you're here!
Let me get stated and elaborate my mission statement and purpose of this blog:

Mission Statement: To show what is possible on the raw vegan diet using my running and cycling results as the measuring pole for my success. I want to prove to people that it is entirely possible to beat pro athletes AND be a raw vegan despite working in corporate america. I think in today's society, we have so many role models but not enough 'regular' folk that work 9-5 jobs and can still fit the time to be athletic. Well, that's what I plan to show with this blog. For those of us working, it is entirely possible to a) transform your life and b) be as athletic as you want to be.

Honestly, we can all do this and I want to be here to help you all. If I can be the inspiration for change, I happily will accept the burden of responsibility and urge you to take a step in the right direction with me. Together, we can train for a better world.