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Caveman Marketplace is Live!

April 22, 2011

Friends, family, readers, stragglers- After months of planning and hard work, I am happy to announce that the new paleo website and marketplace is up and running! It’s way more robust with information about paleo diet, exercise, and lifestyle than my personal blog had the ability to be. Furthermore,  it has resources and products that are relevant to help you achieve your fitness goals through the Paleo movement. It’s the materialization of my idea for a “Cavemen Marketplace”. Please hop on over there and check it out. Use the contact form on the site to leave me any feedback-this is greatly appreciated.

www.paleodietandliving.com

Also, two more favors to ask. Click on the facebook icon while you are there and “like” the Paleo Diet and Living Facebook page. It is great way to keep up with new posts, recipes,  and discussions. Please tell all your friends that might find this site helpful, especially people who have been struggling with diets/ weight loss or people that have issues with energy levels throughout the day.

Many thanks!

Caveman

Some interesting facts about today, April 22, 2011:

1. Today is earth day! It’s a day that is intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s natural environment. I am proud that I could publish a new website promoting sustainable food and lifestyle on such a day. Make some time to get outside and appreciate the endless wonders mother nature provides us.

2. It’s also Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in either AD 33 or 34.

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April Happenings

April 19, 2011

Hello all,

It’s been about 5 weeks since the accident. Recovery progress remains slow but steady. I have enjoyed being out of the sling and doing basic things around the house once more. In another 2 weeks I shall go in for a follow up with the Ortho surgeon, and then hopefully begin rehab. My strength improvement has been encouraging, but not so for my range of motion. I can raise my arm to the horizontal straight out in front of me, but only about halfway up to my side.

That’s boring news though, now, for the important announcement. The new project is nearly complete. I’ve been working diligently on a new Paleo resource website. It will be chock full of paleo articles, advice, tips, and products. I plan on launching the site Friday morning at 10am, so stay tuned to the blog or facebook to snag the URL and check it out.

Injury Update

April 6, 2011

It has been 3 weeks since I came face to face with 2 tons of steel while out riding in west Austin. Progress has been slow-too slow for someone of my high octane nature-but it has been steady. I ditched the sling yesterday and am able to do small everyday tasks like shower, get dressed, cook, and even drive my truck once more. The knee laceration has healed nicely, but the knee cap and surrounding soft tissue are pretty tender from the impact.My left hip is still nagging me, but it felt good enough today to go for a hike on the greenbelt. Ladybird was thrilled to finally get out and do something other than sleep around the house.

The injury has been real tough on me mentally. The likelihood of a dislocation occurring again with moderate stress is increased. I have more mobility in my arm than 3 weeks ago, but it still pales in comparison to my good arm. I just can’t help but wonder if it’ll ever heal completely and if I’ll be able to return to things I really love doing in life. The thought of swimming, doing a pull up, or drawing my hunting bow just make me cringe. Not only this, but there have been some insurance complications that aren’t easing the situation at all.

Through it all though, I remain as optimistic as I can. I do the only thing a Caveman knows to do-just keep going. I’ll be taking it easy for three more weeks and then I start rehab. Do me a favor and get out as much as you can to enjoy the lovely spring weather while it lasts. Ride for me, run for me, and just enjoy the things I can’t for a few more months.

Minor Setback…

March 21, 2011

We’ve all heard those cliches about what one experiences before being involved in a serious accident. “My life flashed before me, it happened in slow motion” etc. Last Friday around 5pm i was out doing hill repeats in West Austin. I was descending Big View drive, one of the longest  climbs in the area. Mr ride, my race season, and a host of other life endeavours were abruptly ended when a driver in a Nissan Xterra did not see me coming down the hill and proceeded to take a left turn onto the road from Riverplace.  A second glance by the driver did catch me and prompted the driver to stop, but having already anticipated the car being fully in the road by the time I reached it, i had changed my course to the right to try and avoid a collision. My life did not flash before my eyes, nor did things switch to slow motion. It happened fast. So fast, that i felt like i was in a dream. i froze in disbelief that i was about to smack this brown hunk of metal with extreme force and there wasn’t a thing i could do about it. The front wheel hit first. The momentum flung my right shoulder into the driver side door, followed by the rest of my body. All i remember past that point was laying on my side behind the vehicle. By the time i propped myself up on my rear, the driver and his son were there trying to assist me and see if i was alright. I’m a pretty tough guy and my instinct in situations like this is to assess damage, walk it off if i can, and get rolling again. My shoulder hurt like hell and i couldn’t move it, but i could still move my fingers and forearms so at first i didn’t attach too much weight to the shoulder problem. My knee was laid open though and starting to bleed nicely, so at that point I knew a trip to the ER would be needed anyways. As i sat a little longer to assess the situation, it became clearer that my shoulder was really jacked up and would need prompt attention. In hindsite, an ambulance ride would have been a good call, but i didn’t perceive my injuries to be life threatening and I wanted Colleen to be there, so i gave her a call at work and arranged with the driver to drop me off  at a gas station about halfway between the accident site and her work.

The driver was courteous and did everything someone in this situation should have done, especially in this age of hit and runs. He put the bike in the rear, helped me get in, even got a paper towel for my gushing knee cut,  and off we went.  The hilly swervy roads to the gas station amplified the shoulder pain and when I grasped where the joint used to be, it was freaky to feel it hanging about 2″ down and tucked into my ribcage.

Colleen found us about two minutes after our arrival. We swapped the bike, the broken body, and insurance info before Colleen drove me to the nearest ER we knew of at St. David’s in south Austin. When your arm feels like it’s about to detach completely from your torso and the pain rates 10 on a 1-10 scale, it feels like check in and treatment can’t happen quickly enough, but they actually did a pretty good job. The first dose of morphine didn’t put a dent in the pain, the second dose started to help, but it was all good when they put me under for a few minutes to reset the joint.

I woke up with a duct taped shoulder and 12 sutures in my knee. Well, they didn’t really use duct tape, but seeing as how my shoulder was far from being good as new, that’s sort of how it felt. Everything else seemed ok so we checked out and rolled down the street to the 24 hr Walgreen’s for some Hydrocodine. I normally turn down pain meds because pain is my body’s way of saying something ain’t right and i should fix it, but in the case, duh, something is obviously not right and I knew the drugs would help me get some rest and back on the road to recovery.

I’ve started to lay off the meds after 3 days and while the right shoulder is the main concern, my left shoulder has some moderate aching and bruising, as well as my left hip. Overall, i just feel banged up. I am able to sleep at night, at least.

Today, Monday, we went to the orthopedic surgeon for a follow up. We did some mechanical tests and Q&A, and while it was a pretty big blow, it doesn’t appear like surgery will be needed (knock on wood). i have to stay in a sling for three more weeks while the soft tissue scars over, and after that i can begin an extensive physical therapy program.With a little luck and a lot of work, perhaps i can be back on the bike by Fall.

Day to day activities we all take for granted are now somewhat of a challenge to me, especially since I’m right handed. Typing, getting out of bed, getting dressed, showering, cooking, you name it. I had a few architecture jobs that I can’t complete. I have lost a pasttime i hold very dear to my heart. Sleeping and watching movies are about the only things I can do. Through all my adversities in life, though, I always try to find the good in them.

1. It could have been worse! Thank God I didn’t smack my head or crack my spine. I’m thankful to still be alive, and at that, able to be sitting at my desk 4 days later writing this post. In fact, all the X-rays i had done didn’t reveal a single broken bone. This is a great testament to the power of the Paleo diet and exercise routine, especially to critics who think one doesn’t get enough calcium through the diet. I can almost guarantee you a pure road cyclist with no cross training and a high grain diet would have smashed quite a few bones in such an impact. I’ve got great faith in the nutrient dense Paleo diet to accelerate my recovery as quickly as possible.  2. The driver of the Xterra and his son are ok, and as far as I know, the vehicle is still drivable. There were no other cars nearby when the accident happened, but there could have been and more injury/damage could have been done. As cyclists, and friends of cyclist, we tend to be one sided when incidents like this occur, but it doesn’t change the fact that this is an ordeal for the motorists too. I’m glad no one else got hurt. 3. Steel is real! I was riding my trusty 1986 Trek Elance 440 that day. Word from the shop is that the frame is still straight and there was barely $100 in damage. Great news, because its a cool bike and would’ve been tough to replace. I bet a modern carbon machine would have splintered into a million pieces. 4. The time off will afford me the opportunity to pursue a new business idea I’ve been toying with the past few months. Luckily it doesn’t require commuting or getting dressed up or any other typical demand one would find at an office job. I can do it from the convenience of my computer, altough typing will be a little slow until i get out of the sling. 5. I have a wonderful wife and friends to help me get by the next few weeks

So, not all is lost, in fact, there is much to be gained. Feel free to swing by and visit if you are in the area. To conclude, I would like to say that if you road ride a lot, no matter where, but especially in hilly populated areas, be very mindful of motorists. It is not their intent to hurt you, but  it’s just the nature of cycling that we aren’t always very visible. Two tons of steel always wins over 165 lbs of flesh. Be safe out there.

Elizabeth Kreutz portrait of Lance following surgery of his right collarbone resulting from a crash in the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon in March 2009. Lance went on to finish 3rd in the Tour de France that summer.

 

The Devil Went Back To Warda

February 28, 2011

It had been three long weeks since Caveman laid his bike down at Warda’s feet

And it burned inside his mind the way he suffered that defeat

In the darkest pits of his cave, he hatched a comeback plan

To reach the top once more for he’s just a mortal man

“The sin of pride” might do him in,

But then again, it might push him to be the best he’s ever been.”

Adapted From Charlie Daniel’s The Devil Came Back to Georgia

I’m still working on the Paleo Running stuff and I’ll get it up soon, but I wanted to sneak this race report in first. What a weekend it was! Saw Blue Man Group perform Friday night at the Long Center, saw some awesome bikes at the North American Handmade Bikeshow here in Austin, and then on Sunday made the short drive over to Warda with wife, dog, and 24 hour buddy John Russell to kick off the 2011 TMBRA Spring series. I have not fully committed myself to a cross country season in what feels like 2 years. This year TMBRA added a new category that is right up my alley and inspired me to take the plunge, the Cat 1 Singlespeed. It was designed to pull SS sandbaggers like me, Wink, and a few other riders away from the Cat2/3 level racers so they can be more evenly matched, but also provide some incentive for Cat 1 riders who might not normally race SS to give it a try since it does have cash payout. Other than being more competitive and having the chance to earn my entry fee back, I like that we race the same distance as the the Pro/Cat 1 and Cat 1 19-29 and 30-29 age groups, this way I can gauge my efforts against these racers. I’ve only got one gear, and each race dynamic is different, but it’s close enough to use as a tool.

Some fast dudes were already preregistered and I was betting on more fast dudes signing up the day of. I had a feeling that the most respected of adversaries, Wink, would show up. I even wanted him to, just to have another shot after he ran me in the ground at the 12 hour. My days of rumination were over, it was a new race, a new season, and Long Tall Sally would finally get her first race start.

Sure enough, Wink was there, along with a decent field of 14 other riders, some accustomed to SS racing, some not. No matter, everyone was still a Cat 1.  The start was a long flat loop through a cow pasture that left everyone spinning at 170 rpm. I let the young pups duke it for a while until they were winded, then decided to get going. I pulled into the lead for a moment but then I was winded and I conceded 3 spots before we hit the singletrack. Jeff Campbell led it out, followed by Wink, and then a rider I didn’t know. I was hanging with them just fine until I clipped a pedal and went careening off to the side of the trail. Eric Fleming squeaked by and then I was in 5th. Got back in it and noticed 3rd starting to fall off Jeff and Wink. He and Eric got caught up in some 19-29 age group racers and when we hit a short open clearing with a slight incline I punched it and blew by the whole group. Caught back up to Wink and Jeff by the time we hit the long straight away heading towards Gas Pass. More 19-29 traffic here, but Wink punched it and took the lead with Jeff and I hanging on for dear life.

I tried my darndest to keep those two within sight, but it became evident Wink was starting to inch away by the time we started lap 2. Jeff had fallen off Wink’s wheel, so I just focused on catching up to him. I was running a tall gear out there, 34×17. I had anticipated riding in the long flat pasture loop (which was not included), and Warda is pretty flat in general, so I thought it would be a good choice. For the first half of the lap, it was. I did catch Jeff and even passed him before Gas Pass

Coming down Muletrace-Photo Courtesy of Bobcat13 Photography

to take control of 2nd place, but the Muletrace and Palisades climbs on that 34×17 gearing left my legs on fire and lungs about to burst. We got to a part of the course I call the “suck zone” because it just mysteriously sucks the life out of you. It doesn’t seem that steep, nor is it technical, but for some reason it always, always slows me to crawl.  Jeff passed me back up and I had little to respond with. He was still in sight starting lap 3, but after we hit the singletrack, I didn’t really see him again. My focus now turned to just holding onto to 3rd.

It seemed as if this wouldn’t be a problem until I happened to see Eric Fleming on the other side of the cattle tank while heading toward the singletrack. This meant he was only about 15 seconds back. I pushed the pace as hard as I could and held him off til Muletrace, but sadly had to concede my podium spot as the legs just didn’t have the strength to push that big gear in the climbs. No worries, though, Eric is a good kid and he fought hard that day. As I started the 4th and final lap, my focus shifted to just finishing the race and having fun. Bob of Bobcat13 Photography actually caught me in a cheerful moment right after the Palisades climb when I asked if I could borrow his legs.

 

Photo Courtesy of Bobcat13 Photography

Of course, I couldn’t, and had to grind out another 2 miles or so of trail in a lot of pain, but I did it and held on to 4th. I then proceeded to have a beer followed by a hamburger and I was reminded of a time when I wasn’t quite as competitive (and before I had discovered the Paleo Diet 😉 ). Things were so footloose and fancy free back then when cross country was all I did. Beer the night before, beer afterwards (and sometimes even beer during races) were commonplace in those days, in fact, I remember downing 4 beers the night before I won my first expert race on this very course 4 years ago. Those days are definitely behind me and USA cycling has informed via license renewal that my race age is now 30! but it’s nice to know the feeling lives on. I look forward to it sticking with me for the rest of spring.

Cheers,
Caveman


Paleo Running-Part I,Motivation

February 22, 2011

Today’s discussion will take a look at why our paleo ancestors ran, and why people run today. What inspired the Caveman to run? That’s easy. He was either 1. chasing food or 2. trying to avoid becoming food.Why else in his right mind would he need to run? Calories and strength were precious back then; no need to waste either. Why do people run today? That’s much harder to ascertain. Some do it for “fun”, some do it as a counterbalance to eating too much food, some get paid to do it, others do it for a sense of accomplishment. Some people don’t know why they do it, they just do it. If a modern runner were transported back in time and happened to pass by Cavemen on a training run, the paleo beings would likely scratch their heads, or more likely start looking for what was chasing the runner. We can see this behavior in modern times. Colleen always tells the story of a group of indigenous natives from South America that visited New York . When they went to Central Park and saw people endlessly running around in circles they were immensely perplexed, and even laughed at the silly Americans. Native North Americans were known to out run deer, but even they got smart when Europeans introduced horses to the continent and they learned to harness the speed of the horse for hunting and fighting.

Unless you belong to an indigenous tribe (how did you find this blog, if so?) or find yourself stranded in the wilderness, you are very unlikely to ever run for the only two reasons we were meant to run. This doesn’t mean running can’t be enjoyable, beneficial, or useful though. As opposed to doing absolutely nothing, running, even if done improperly, will bring some degree of fitness gains. However, if you or someone you know are a “chronic runner”, I would challenge you to think differently about running. Instead of thinking about it in any of the following ways: 10k, 13.1 miles, 26.2 miles, 7:30/mile pace, top 10 age group, hill repeats, track workout, gotta run today, gotta do a long run Saturday, need better shoes, better gear, etc. etc, how about thinking about running in a more paleo sense? Don’t focus on distance, time, pace, or any other quantifiable attribute. Focus on the joy of being outside, getting fresh air, feeling the kiss of the sun, the ground float by below your feet. Go fast here, slow there. Walk a little. If you are fortunate enough to be on a cool trail like the Austin greenbelt, throw in some other exercises like rock hopping, rock shot put, tree branch pull ups, or swimming (if water is in the creek) If all you have to work with is the urban jungle, you’ll have to get creative with stairs, benches, street poles and the like. Hopefully after reading my later posts on paleo running you won’t be too concerned about shoes or gear, because you’ll either be barefoot or using something pretty minimal. The only gear you’ll ever need other than shoes is a pair of shorts, and perhaps a sports bra if you are a Cavewoman. If you want a real good workout, pretend you are chasing wild game, or wild game is chasing you. Better yet, find some real wild game. Nothing brings out the best of human performance like the worst of conditions. (Note: this is only included for humor-if you do encounter dangerous wild game, most of the time it is better not to run, unless it is a skunk) Do you see the point I’m trying to make? Running shouldn’t be about numbers or destinations. It should be about getting exercise, having fun, and being prepared to run faster than your slowest buddy in the event a hungry lion is chasing the two of you. (in the case of being in a group under attack, if you are sure you can outrun your buddy, then do it!)

If you think about it, humans were never really meant to run an arbitrary distance of 26.2 miles at a balls to the wall pace. If this were truly the case, perhaps Pheidippides wouldn’t have died from exhaustion following his run from Marathon to Athens to spread the word of Greek victory over the persians. This isn’t to say we can’t train the body for such feats, but it surely begs the question “should we?” or “is that really healthy?” People that run marathons just to say they did it might be playing to their self vanity more than anything else. At the end of the day, if the run leaves you in more pain than it does satisfaction, I would really re-evaluate your motivation for running and consider adopting a more paleo running approach.

Other thoughts and articles:

http://weloverunning.blogspot.com/2009/09/should-you-be-training-like-caveman.html

Running Happy From Running Times

 

 

Paleo Running-Introduction

February 20, 2011

The Austin Marathon and half marathon took place this morning. I came pretty close to hopping in the 1/2 just for the heck of it, and to get a little exercise. Better judgement and a comfy bed persuaded me not to.  Race start was at 7am, Colleen was trying to wake me up at 5:30am, and I had been up til about 12:30 the night before, so I was tired. Not only that, my body had felt a bit stiff from runs and ride the week previous.  I had spent some time the night before trying to find a pair of shoes I could use. My super cool Mizuno Wave Universe II shoes had finally suffered the final blow on a trail run last Tuesday after months of running on stuff it was never designed to run on, on MY feet no less.

And something told me my makeshift repair with packing tape a) wouldn’t last 13 miles or b) wouldn’t be very comfortable.

My other options were an old pair of Brooks Adrenaline 6 that didn’t fit too well anymore, or my Xterra trail runners. I won the Xterras at a race and while they are reasonably light (for a trail shoe) and have more flexibility than average, they are still a beefy trail shoe and not the best for 13 miles of pavement. I also had the option of going completely barefoot. Now this is right up my alley, but I hadn’t worked up the foot toughness and mechanics to even seriously consider this option. With two important athletic outings planned for the coming week and nothing whatsoever invested into this race, it was a no-brainer to stay in bed and get some more zzz’s.

The previous day I actually made it out to the marathon expo to check it out and say hi to Colleen since she was working the Trigger Point booth. I was also hoping maybe some vendors would have some racing flats or barefoot shoes I could buy to try out in the race. What I found instead totally deflated me and inspired me to write this post.

I by no means consider myself a running “expert”, but in a lot of ways, this makes me better qualified to give running advice.  It’s like having the innocence of an unborn child not yet touched by sin. Let me tell you but a few of the things I stumbled upon at this expo. Of course, there were shoe shops trying to sell shoes, “running specific” clothing, gu’s, watches, hats, headbands, you name it. If you told them you were interested in shoes, they proceeded to analyze your pronation/supination, and how much “stability” or cushion your feet would need, as well as any other marketing fodder from the shoe manufacturer they could throw at you. They would then take your $80-100 (or more) and you would walk out thinking you got a good deal. One company was selling bracelets or bands that wrap around your limbs to “maximize your energy flow”, sort of like those magnetic bracelets you see on TV. There were 2 or 3 companies selling earphones that wouldn’t fall out. There were companies selling energy bars, drinks, gels, blocks, etc. With the exception of Larabar, they were all chock full of super processed crap that probably did more harm than good, yet somehow they claimed their product would improve your performance.

I could go on, but basically all but a few of the companies there (such as Trigger Point-they have a legit product and don’t have a hard sell) were trying to convince the runner that their product would somehow improve running performance, comfort, or enjoyability.

Why in the world do we humans have to take something so basic and primitive such as running and insist on complicating the crap out of it?  Dogs and cats don’t need shoes, so why do we?

Because SOCIETY has said so ever since we were born, and as a result, our feet have been denied the opportunity toughen up and our brains have been denied the proprioception to learn how to move naturally. Our feet are very unlikely to get tough since society demands us to wear shoes (even if it didn’t, I bet most Americans would wear shoes anyways), but at least we can gain back that neuro-muscular connection by wearing something just thick enough to protect from sharp objects. Glass on hard paved roads is something paleo people never had to deal with anyways.

Shoe selection is but one aspect of running I would like to examine this week, both from a paleo and modern perspective. Being the Caveman I am, I’m obviously biased towards the paleo, but cavemen were akin to using tools to their advantage, so perhaps there are some modern conveniences that do make running more worthwhile. Stay tuned.