Tour of Palm Springs Century Ride

 Tour of Palm Springs

Century Ride – Feb. 10, 2016



I have done this 100-mile ride at least twice in the past.   It’s a fun ride and the weather in Palm Springs in   February is perfect.

This will be my first Century of 2018 and will be a great event to build up my strength and endurance for the Sixty-600 Challenge.

The photo below is during the first few miles as we ride out into the desert. Most of the ride isn’t quite as desolate as this image implies.

If anybody wants to join me on this ride….let me know!  Registration is $85.


Running Through Portland, Oregon

Running along the Willamette River


I was visiting Oregon for my niece’s wedding and I had the great opportunity to join my buddy Jim Criswell for a run along the river in downtown Portland.

It was a short run, but the first one I have done since injuring my knee.  The good news is my leg pain did not return, so hopefully I will start to log more running miles.

Jim has completed the Portland Marathon and participated in the Hood to Coast run several times so it was great to get out to run with him and motivate each other to do more.


The Extra Mile Podcast!!



Hey friends….I’m on the Extra Mile Podcast.!!  YEA!!


The Extra Mile Podcast is a weekly broadcast that encourages runners at any ability level to reach their goals.   Every week Kevin Gwin and his guests give advice on running, training and living the runner’s life style.



Kevin was nice enough to post an audio bit I did on New Year’s Resolutions and Goal setting.

Give a listen at: www.theextramilepodcast.blogspot.com

TEM 123 –Episode 123.  http://ia601202.us.archive.org/16/items/TEM123/TEM%20123.mp3

Listen to the complete episode….or you can find my humble voice at 25:41


The Extra Mile Podcast has lots of great content and you can even listen in to the Extra Mile Podcast Jeff Galloway Edition.  Jeff Galloway is an American Olympian and the author of Galloway’s Book on Running. A lifetime runner, Galloway was an All-American collegiate athlete and a member of the 1972 US Olympic Team in the 10,000 meters….A marathon Mentor we can all learn from.


So give a listen…..and enjoy your UltraLife.


How to treat and Recover from Runner’s knee


I haven’t been running for the past few weeks because I’ve been having knee pain….it’s called “Runner’s Knee”.

If you log lots of running miles you are very likely to have some aches and pains or an injury along the way.

I know the tendency is to just keep going and run through the pain. You don’t want to stop, especially if you have an event coming up. But if you keep running, your condition can get worse. I can assure you it won’t go away. Since you want to keep running for a life time, you’d better slow down and take care of yourself.

No matter if you are suffering from hamstring pain, Plantar Fasciitis, I-T Band syndrome or runner’s knee the first thing you should do is; STOP RUNNING.

Give it a rest. You don’t need to stop exercising, but you need to let your body recover from the injury.

Anybody can get Runners knee. It doesn’t just happen to people who put in lots of miles. It can happen to beginning runners as well.

I was just getting started running again. I had been only running 3-4 miles at a time and I had advanced to doing a 6 mile run. I first felt the pain after my “Running through Hamburg” video, which was a 10 mile run. I took it easy for a couple of weeks, and then I did “Running through Belize” and my knee really hurt after that 9 mile run. I knew I should stop running, but then I was in Las Vegas and I just had to do “Running through Las Vegas”. I rested and didn’t run for a month so when I was in Miami, I just had to do “Running through Miami”, but the pain came roaring back.

Do what I say…not what I do? I have no ego,….but I just couldn’t pass up running and shooting video in those great locations. But it was a mistake. Knees don’t heal very quickly. When you have an injury, the affected location needs blood flow to heal and there just isn’t much blood flow in your knees, so it can take longer than you’d like for a knee injury to heal.

Runner’s knee can be caused by overuse if you run too much but it’s also caused from weak or tight thigh muscles which cause the patella tendon to get irritated. The patella tendon connects to your quadriceps muscle group, so if you don’t have much flexibility or strength it can create extra stress on your knee.

Let’s take a look the amazing anatomy of our knee joint. Remember, Ligaments connect bone to bone. Tendons connect muscle to bone. As you can see there are many tendons with connections from muscle to bone in the knee area. Notice how some muscles connect to the tibia (lower leg) and others to the femur (thigh bone). Tendons and muscles work together to move bones.

Most of these muscles are very long going from the knee all the way to the hips or groin. It’s really incredible engineering.

Typical symptoms of Runners Knee are:

– Pain behind or around the kneecap

– Pain around the knee when walking, running or going down stairs

– Popping of the knee

– Pain when bending the knee or unable to get the full range of motion when bending your knee

So how do you recover from Runner’s knee?

1.) First….See your doctor. Be sure you don’t have a tear or partial tear.

2.) Check your shoes. If your shoes are worn they could be causing you to pronate or your heal could be rolling which would add stress to your knee. Buy new Shoes.

3.) Use ice knock down the inflammation. You may not have any swelling, but if you have pain you have inflammation. In addition to icing take some ibuprofen or advil which are anti-inflammatory pain killers.

4.) Cross train. You should give running a rest, but it doesn’t mean you have to become a couch potato…again!

a. Work on core exercises and you can do upper body work

b. Get in the pool. I find that the breast stroke kick does wonders. You get a thigh stretch and you get a good hip flexor exercise at the end of the kick.

c. Get on the bike – building up your leg muscles with different exercises will help strengthen supporting muscles in your legs and knee.

d. Work to build strength in your hips and quads with hip flexor exercises, thigh stretches, squats (when you can do them pain free). Building strength throughout your lower body will help ease the pain and improve your running form.

For my recovery, I’ve been going to the gym almost every day.

I’ve been stretching and working to strengthen my leg muscles by getting on the elliptical, riding the bike and swimming.

I was never the guy that did stretches before my runs. I just rolled out of bed and hit the road.

I know stretching can be a controversial topic, but I plan to incorporate dynamic stretches as a warm up before future runs. I hope dynamic stretching can help me avoid injuries in the future.

What is dynamic stretching?

Watch next time….we’ll go through what Dynamic stretching is and demonstrate some of the moves.

Hey….todays shirt is……US Masters Swimming. www.usms.org US Masters Swimming has nearly 60,000 members with 1,500 Masters swimming clubs across the country. Don’t worry about the word “Masters” it doesn’t mean you have to be an expert swimmer or compete in events….it’s just a Swim organizations for Adults. Swimming is great cross training for runners all the time, to help with recovery and avoid injuries. Check the website for local programs and a pool near you!

So don’t do as I did….take care to keep strong and flexible to avoid injuries. If you are injured…stop running, let yourself heal and in the meantime cross train to keep fit and strengthen other muscles which can help prevent future injury.

I’ll recover soon and get back to running. I know that if I train properly, I’ll be back to longer distance runs soon.

I’m having an UltraLife…..and I hope you have an Ultralife too!

Some content and ideas were researched on the following websites:

WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/knee-pain/runners-knee

Competitor: http://triathlon.competitor.com/2013/03/training/runners-knee-treatment-recovery-and-exercises_72793

It’s been a while since I’ve been out on my bike. I’ve been riding the stationary bike at home and the Gym but it’s not the same as getting out and enjoying the outdoors.

I would like to be logging 100 miles per week…I guess this 20 miler is a good start!



Why are You so Fat?

Why are you so fat?

Most of us are overweight or just face it….we are FAT! I’m fat….your fat! Your sister is Fat….you Mom is Fat….my god, your Dog and Cat are fat!

Why are we so Fat? It’s a half a Trillion Dollar Question!

So let’s find out what I learned when I asked that question.

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention 69 percent of all adults over the age of 20 are overweight. Nearly 36 percent or 87 million of us are obese! Adults over 60 are more likely to be obese than younger adults, so as you get older…you gotta watch it!

I’m not even talking about the kids….there are over 12.5 million kids that are obese!

Being overweight isn’t just about looks. Being overweight is not healthy. Fat people have higher risks of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, Osteoarthritis, joint problems and certain types of cancer. It’s expensive to be sick. The estimated medical cost to treat obesity was $147 Billion in 2008 and approaching 200 Billion in 2014.

Hey….I know we are all going to die, but I’d prefer to have as many healthy years as possible. Wouldn’t you? Let’s face it, getting older sucks. If you can do something to get healthy, stay healthy and keep moving longer and later in life wouldn’t you’d you prefer that to walker or electric scooter or worse?

I’ve seen too many people get to the age of retirement; a time when they should really be enjoying their life but because of health issues, they are too sick or aren’t physically mobile enough to have a good quality of life.

You know you are fat. I know I am fat, but I wanted a good definition to confirm it. If you check with the CDC, the Mayo Clinic or the World Health Organization (WHO ?) for a definition of being Overweight, they all point you to the BMI or Body Mass Index as a measurement. I did a 3 part series on the Food Pyramid and BMI a few years back. You can use the Search term; MyUltraLife BMI, if you want to check those out.

The Food Pyramid and Body Mass Index (BMI) Part 1

The Food Pyramid and Body Mass Index (BMI) Part 2

The Food Pyramid and Body Mass Index (BMI) Part 3


Here is the formula for BMI: (from CDC website)

Formula: weight (lb) / [height (in)]2 x 703

Calculate BMI by dividing weight in pounds (lbs) by height in inches (in) squared and multiplying by a conversion factor of 703.

Example: Weight = 150 lbs, Height = 5’5″ (65″)
Calculation: [150 ÷ (65)2] x 703 = 24.96


Basically if you have a BMI of 25 to 29 you are overweight. If your BMI is 30 or higher….you are an obese person. For example if you are 5’4” and weigh 174 pounds, you are obese. If you are 5’9” and weigh 203 or more, you are obese!

BMI isn’t always the most accurate, but it is the best and quickest gauge of fatness. You can do the math, but I have an even faster method. Go look in the freaking mirror! Come on….you know you are fat.


But Why? Why are American’s so Fat?

Is it because America is a Richer Nation with more choices; we can afford to eat more! That could be the reason.

The U.S. has been listed as the country with the highest obesity rate in the world. But I have good news. We are now the country with the second highest obesity rate. Mexico just beat us! Some of the other countries in the top 10 are; Micronesia, Dominca, Tonga, Samoa, Kiribati and The Cook Islands. These other countries don’t sound like wealthy countries compared to America….but maybe they are Rich in their diets! Ah ha!

Some of the countries with the lowest Obesity rates are Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, Korea, Romania, France and Honduras. These aren’t the poorest countries, so I don’t think living in a rich country or a poor country makes the biggest difference. What is different is diet and culture. And, as you might expect, countries with lower obesity rates also have lower rates of disease and greater longevity.

Are we fat because Americans just aren’t aware of the problem?


Maybe we should diet more!

According to Marketdata Enterprises, an independent market research company; Americans spend over $61 Billion dollars a year on weight loss. They report that 82% of those dollars were spent on “do it yourself” diet plans such as over the counter diet pills, meal replacements, diet books and diet websites.

Weight loss chains such as Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers and Nutrisystem got more than $3.4 Billion of your dollars and multi-level marketing plans such as Herba-life, Medifast’s Take Shape for Life and others grabbed over $1 billion of your bucks.

I’d say that with Americans spending over $61 billion dollars a year….and that number keeps growing each year….we are certainly aware of the problem.


The reason we are FAT is that we don’t go to the Gym and workout

The Gym, Health & fitness Club market brings in over $26 Billion are year with over 30,000 facilities around the country and more than 52 million members. This includes Gym’s and Fitness Centers, Tennis Centers, Dance Centers and swimming pools.

Do you have a Gym membership? Have you been lately? I must admit there was a time I hadn’t gone to the gym for so long, I forgot the combination to my lock! I had to throw it away and buy a new one. The U.S. population is 316 million and 52 million go to the Gym, well I guess this is the 16% of us that are healthy!

And for those of you who don’t like the gym and say you’ll workout at home….you spent almost $2 billion on fitness equipment. That treadmill was not meant for hanging your clothes.

Let’s do the numbers

Treating diseases that are the result of obesity costs $187 Billion

Dieting costs $61 Billion

Gyms and Fitness Centers cost $29 Billion and we spend $2 billion on home fitness gear

That’s $279 Billion dollars spent by Americans each year to lose weight and get fit, yet 69 percent of us are still overweight and 36 percent of adults are obese.

Wow…I think I’ve found the way to balance the Federal Budget!

Something is not working. My point is not to focus on the money being spent. My point is that people are trying different methods to lose weight and battle obesity, but it’s just not working.


Maybe the Government should help!

Obesity is an enormous, like a gigantic public health concern, especially with the government getting deeper into the healthcare business, so as you might expect there are many government agencies involved in studying and preventing obesity in children and adults.

Let’s run through just a few of those……You’ve got the Department of Health and Human Services which oversees 11 agencies, many of these work on obesity issues, such as:

-Administration for Children and Families

-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

-Administration on Aging (AOA)

-Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

-Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

-National Institutes of Health (NIH)

-Office of Womens Health (OWH)

-Indian Health Service (HIS)

-The Office of Public Health and Science, which oversees;

– Office of Adolescent Health

– Office of the Surgeon General

– Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

– President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports

– Office of Minority Health

– Office of Women’s Health

I thought we already covered Women’s health….the list is exhausting. We haven’t even got to some of the big ones yet like the FDA, USDA, NIH, FTC, even the FCC and all of these big agencies have sub agencies. Then you have the agencies that form collaborative agencies to form a research group and it never ends.

If you go to the www.USA.gov web site and search the word “obesity” you get 6,880,000 results of studies and reports on obesity. It’s really incredible!

If you visit the National Institutes of Health Obesity Research Funding Opportunities web page you will find no less than 53 new research topics they are looking to fund and that is a partial list.

Even the First Lady got into the act beginning in February 2010 by launching her, “Let’s Move” campaign with the goal of “solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation so that children born today will reach adulthood at a healthy weight”. Let’s move.gov involves the Department of Education (DOE), Department of the Interior (DOI) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). No report of the campaigns results, but they have a song, “Move your body”, sung by Beyoncé Knowles and Swizz Beatz.

So your “do it yourself” diets, weight loss programs and diet books are doing it, most of us don’t go to the gym and the government is “studying” the issue and implementing programs while the obesity rate continues to increase.

So what is the solution? I don’t know! Oh, wait….you thought I had the answer? If 6,800,000 answers on USA.gov haven’t provided the answer, I don’t think I have the answer!

I do have some ideas that I will share in future posts; but I think we find the solution that works for each of us individually. If we work on it step by step, we will learn what works for us.

I hope we can use the MyUltraLife site as a forum to share ideas on what works and what doesn’t. What makes MyUltraLife better than the hundreds of other health and fitness websites? You….you and me together. We make it better through our efforts to lead UltraLives. By motivating and encouraging ourselves to reach our goals….we make it better by making ourselves better and over time we just might help others lead Ultralives too!



Marketdata Enterprises: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/4/prweb10629316.htm

CDC – Adult Obesity Facts: http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html

CDC Fast Facts – Obesity and Overweight: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/overwt.htm

Countries with Lowest and Highest Obesity Rates: http://mecheshier.hubpages.com/hub/International-Obesity-Facts-Highest-vs-Lowest-Worldwide-Obesity-Rates

Obesity rates hold steady: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/264970.php

Fitness Centers: http://www.ibisworld.com/industry/default.aspx?indid=1655

Lets Move: http://www.letsmove.gov/ and http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/first-lady-federal-agencies-launch-summer-initiative-curb-childhood-obesity-and-

Campaign to end Obesity: http://www.obesitycampaign.org/

CDC-Communities putting prevention to work: http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dch/programs/CommunitiesPuttingPreventiontoWork/index.htm

NIH budget: http://report.nih.gov/categorical_spending.aspx

NIH Obesity Research funding Solicitations: http://obesityresearch.nih.gov/funding/funding.aspx

Organizational Chart of Governmental and non-governmental agencies addressing Obesity (2010): http://www.yaleruddcenter.org/resources/upload/docs/what/policy/AgenciesAddressingObesity5.10.pdf

Nutrition.gov: http://www.nutrition.gov/nutrition-and-health-issues/overweight-and-obesity

Partners in Information Access for Public Health Workforce: http://phpartners.org/obesity.html

Today’s Shirt – Challenged Athletes Foundation – http://www.challengedathletes.org/

If you’d like to promote your charity or event, send me a shirt, I’ll wear it and promote on this channel.

Have an UltraLife!!