Sweetness is My Weakness

Got this in my inbox tonight, from Spring Energy:

Among all micronutrients, sugars seem to be the most harmful substances for our cells. The human race evolved for tens of thousands of years without significant sources of pure sugar in natural food. This could explain why our body, in general, doesn’t handle sugars very well. From the food intake regulation to metabolic responses, our body reacts to sugars as if they were unknown and causing dysregulation.  

Rafal Nazarewicz, founder of Spring Energy

“Highly concentrated sugar is a foreign substance for your body,” he says, “limit sugars to 15g per day!”

That got me thinking about the brownie I got at Starbucks the other day. I found the nutritional information and it’s got 37g of sugar. More than double what Rafal is suggesting, and that’s in one sitting!

I’m not black and white with this stuff, I just know that if I eat a brownie today, it makes it easier to eat a few cookies tomorrow, and maybe a handful (or a bag) of peanut M&M’s the next. For me it’s a slippery slope, but I don’t torture myself. All this running and biking and stretching – I don’t subscribe to the “you gotta earn your dessert” bullshit, but I also don’t deny myself the occasional cravings. Just not everyday for me.

Slow Down and Stretch

I run about five or six times a week, and do a solid stretching routine every other run. The other times I do some small dynamic stretches, and make sure to take it easy in the first mile.

Stretching is a time to ponder, relax, set the tone for the run. In this busy world it’s easy to think about skipping the stretch altogether, and just get to the running, but hey, work stuff can wait. Everything can wait right now, we’re in the midst of global crisis with this COVID-19 crisis. Take care of yourself, you know that.

Today while stretching I saw a woman prepping her horse to leave, and it got away! It didn’t go very far, just a few yards away to eat some grass, nothing dramatic, but it was something I’ve never really seen before, a horse “getting away.”

Slow down, you never know what you’ll see.

Take it Easy

Found this video via Mario Fraioli’s ‘Morning Shakeout‘ newsletter. The concept is that most of your work outs should be easy, which I’ve mentioned to some newbie runner friends a few times. Yes, running is tough, but you shouldn’t be dying at the end of every effort.

And the thing with slowing down means you can run longer. I don’t mean longer workouts, I mean, longer in life. So many of my runs are slooooow, and that’s enabled me to say relatively injury free for the past four years.

Go fast in spurts. Run hard for 30 seconds and rest, then run hard for another 30 seconds. But trying to sprint a mile is tough on the body, and can really fuck you up.

I’m no professional, nor am I doctor, but just take it easy. So much in life is already hard, but that doesn’t mean your leisure time should be filled with hard stuff, too.

Getting to Fit Seth

Intentionally not posting any “before / after” photos, but I’m sorta stoked on how far I’ve come since I started running in 2016.

Back up. Before my first office job, in 1998, I was pretty trim. I worked at grocery stores in the 90s, and when I wasn’t working I was riding BMX or mountain bikes, or playing basketball, or street hockey.

Then, well… let’s just say that at one point my lunch order was three chalupas from Taco Bell (that’s over 1000 calories). Moved to NYC in 2004 and dropped some weight because I was at least walking around more, running to catch the train, or running between building on campus (I was an A/V tech). Heck, even after leaving NYC on my bike and doing “The Bike Nerd” thing, from about 2010-2012 I was in okay shape, but I still ate like shit.

And you can’t outrun a bad diet.

Then from like 2013-2016 I was just a slug. Lots of processed food, not a lot of activity, and broke as fuck from not being able to find work. I was in a miserable place.

But I started running in 2016, and knocked off about 25lbs in a year or so.

Then did “No Junk June” in 2019 with my roomie, and worked with a nutrionest (Grayson Murphy), and lost another solid 15-20 lbs.

Now, in 2020, I’m about 20 lbs away from my pre-first office job weight.

Most important is I’m eating a lot better. Running and all that is one thing, but to finally be working with a consistent plant-based diet, and still snacking on here and there, that’s the biggest thing. Changing the mindset of food. And straight up not buying cookies at the grocery store because I’ll eat the whole damn box in two days.

So much of this is just showing up every day. I run not because it’s “how I’m going to lose weight,” but because it’s something I can control. It gets me away from the computer, into nature, breaking a sweat. I think whatever you can do, to keep things fun, will probably work for you, too. Long hikes, basketball, dancing, roller skating, whatever… you just have to make sure you’re having fun.

My 15 Year Old Flickr Group

https://www.flickr.com/groups/bikecommute/

Years ago I was super active on Flickr, and I forgot that I started this Bicycle Commuter group back in 2005 – freaking 15 years ago.

I was living in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn at that time, riding down Putnam Ave then North to the Williamsburg, Bridge. God damn, I miss those ride. I miss the city riding, the flow of those streets, the bike lanes, and those bridges.

Morning rides over those bridges. Evening rides. Rainy rides. Night rights. Biking in the city, any city, is fucking magic.

フェンスと自転車のある風景

One of the remarkable things about scrolling through these photos on Flickr is the web-first experience. Things on the web seem just slower paced, as opposed to the social network feel on mobile which is focused on speed.

Along the Yarra River

Lately the mobile experience just feels like go, go, go. This is partly because of my day job, and what I do for a living, but I’ve really enjoyed putting the phone down, closing my email, and getting back to checking a few websites that aren’t Google News, or ESPN.

#lasucksforcycling

10 Miles on the D&L Trail

Been telling my pal to document more of her journey, and never really taking my own advice. This is from today’s 10 mile journey on the D&L Trail near Palmerton, PA. Sort of uneventful, it’s rails-to-trails after all, but it was a joyous run. Running next to the big hills and the river make running a bit easier.

Meant for this to be an eight mile run, four out, four back, but I looked at my watch and it said 4.25, so I figured what the hell? Let’s go for five out, five back.

I think what made this easier was fueling the night before with three tacos – eggs, fake meat, beans, cheese, lettuce, salsa, corn tortillas. Maybe a few Doritos, too, for good measure. Then a full English-muffin to get the guts rolling in the early morning.

Also about 40 minutes into the run I started eating a KOFFEE – Energy Gel with Coffee Kick from Spring Energy. It’s 210 calories, and COFFEE, so not only does it provide the kick of calories and caffeine, but it tastes so fucking good, which is important in the middle of a longer run.

I’ve been doing eight mile runs lately, as my long runs, and this is the first ten I’ve done in a while. The combination of those tacos, the cooler weather and shade, and these energy gels really worked in my favor.

Video-wise, yeah, need some more b-roll footage. There were some little water falls on the side of the trail that I could have captured, and maybe I could have captured some shots of me running (I guess), but this was still fun to make.

P.S. Thanks Dino for the awesome Nike Trail Running top!

Streaming Dinner

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/709518310

Tonight I watched Meg Lewis eat take-out from the Olive Garden on Twitch, which is really a sentence I never thought I’d type, but hey, it’s 2020, right?

It’s all fun and games, of course, but she also mentioned World Central Kitchen, which is doing some pretty great work, and could always use more donations. If you’re feeling bummed, watch Meg Lewis (she’s fantastic), and give some money if you can (I swear, donating money when you’re down is a great pick me up).