Tag Archives: blog

New Year, and Lots More News

As the old advice goes, always have something to look forward to. Or maybe I just made that up. Either way, I try to follow it. Which means doing new stuff or reaching new milestones.

So what’s new with RBT as the old year comes thankfully to an end? Many things. Here’s the latest and greatest from your (somewhat) humble ultrarunner!

New Mileage PR

Of all the years I’ve run, most of which have included several ultras, who would’ve believed I’d set a new personal record for miles run this year, with curtailed group runs and only one ultra? And yet it happened. This month I passed 1,200 miles for the year, averaging 100 miles per month and blowing away my old record.

This was accomplished in part by a 34-day run streak in May, as part of an events company challenge, but most was just getting my butt out the door. Speaking of, if you’re a runner needing some motivation, or know a runner, I have just the book for you, written by RF Events owner Randy Step. Go get it on Amazon.

New Running Coach

With races hopefully starting up again next year, and goals yet to be met, I knew I needed to restore some discipline to my running training. Which meant a professional coach. I aimed high and emailed one of the best-known trail running coaches out there. His reply went something like this:

Hi Jeff! Thank you so much for reaching out, you are amazing. We appreciate you so much! We are full right now, so sorry…

However, he went on to recommend a coach he really liked, who did have a spot for me. And so my latest regime of torture has officially begun under coach Ryan Miller, a two-time U.S. Olympic qualifier. His Instagram page is full of stuff like the below. Yeah, we’re like-minded all right.

New Watch

So my faithful Garmin 310XT watch, which has served me from roughly the Stone Age, has begun to show signs of battery failure. Problem, because I bought this watch precisely for its long battery life, allowing me to run 50-milers and more without recharging. So, naturally, I went out and bought the best thing I could find out there:

Meet the new watch…the same as the old watch…

That’s right! The newer watches still can’t match the simplicity, ease of use, and battery life of these ancient babies. So far, so good. I’ll take both to my next ultra.

And speaking of. . .

2021: New Races

The pandemic may be far from over, but signs of life are creeping back into the world of trail running. And two upcoming events are confirmed live!

The first is the Bigfoot Snowshoe 5K, which I’ve run every year since 2014. Yes, it is actually running in snowshoes, and yes, it’s as lung-busting as it sounds. It’s also a blast. You can read my adventures here in previous blog posts on the subject. Just type “Bigfoot” into my site’s Search box. Or see this one from the 2016 race.

The second is the Grandmaster Ultra, taking place the following week in the Arizona desert. I ran the 50 miler in 2020, and you can read my report here. Been there, done that, but loved the venue, so in 2021 I’ll be doing the 100K.

I’ll provide more details, like social distancing precautions, in upcoming posts. In the meantime, rest assured I will looking out for myself, and others, very carefully.

And finally,

New Site!

I began this site as Fitness At 50 back in 2011, so this means my ten-year anniversary is coming up. Time to join the 2020s in terms of site layout and refresh the content. Maybe even a new blog name! Changes will be coming soon. Don’t worry, I’ll provide plenty of warning. Or not.

Thanks for reading, and have a great New Year!

A Post from the Cave

Yesterday I was innocently working from home when my cell phone rang. The caller ID read “UNAVAILABLE” so I should have known better. But just in case it was someone from the office, I picked up and said hello.

“Hello?” a female voice replied. Then after a moment, “I’m so sorry – I was adjusting my headset! Anyway, I’m calling because you recently stayed at one of our resorts, and we have this offer . . .”

picard-face-palm

Oh, Lord. I let her pitch her absolutely fabulous offer, until she wanted to ask me a few questions. Then I said, “I suppose there’s a timeshare presentation involved in this?”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t understand you,” she replied. “Can I ask you a few questions?” I repeated my timeshare suspicion. “Can I ask you a few questions?” she said again.

I hung up. She was a robot, pre-screening before handing me off to a closer. But I have to admit I was fooled for a bit. They are getting better at this. Robot callers even deny they’re robots. Read an example here.

No, totes true dude, I'm a human - beep beep beep - HA HA HA HA- How about them Cubs?

No, totes truly dude, I’m a human – beep beep beep – HA HA HA HA- How about them Cubs?

Which got me thinking (hey, it’s better than working, right?) about the new waves of technology that make virtual reality closer to “real” reality. Video games use the moves of real athletes who were wired up just for that purpose. An increasing number of movies are either partly, or completely, CGI generated. And new VR headsets are coming that will let the wearer participate in some incredible experiences. Say, simulating a mountain bike adventure on your stationary bike, riding a roller coaster from your couch, or even flying like a bird. Click here for details.

I find a kind of odd symmetry here with what else is going on in the world. With the country’s future and the world’s future more uncertain that ever, it’s natural, I suppose, for the visual and tactile boundaries between fantasy and reality to blur as well. How long before we simply sit in chairs all day living entirely in a fantasy world? (Perhaps we are now. Plato suggested that we were.)

platos-cave

Look! I can do a bunny rabbit!

But as we approach our country’s annual day of gratitude and overeating, there are a few things I can be certain of, and count on:

  • I have the love of my family and can count on them supporting me no matter what, and that I would do the same for them.
  • I can count on Skip and the Body Specs crew mashing me into the floor so I can get back up stronger than ever.
  • I can count on pain, blisters, and bruises from running marathons and trail ultramarathons, and that I will treasure each one anyway.
  • Our cats will continue walking on the books we’re trying to read, nagging for food when I’m trying to concentrate, and being an unending source of affection and comic relief. (Screw you and your feline hatred, The Atlantic; cats rule.)
  • I’m certain that people will continue to say to me, “So I was reading your blog the other day…” when I didn’t think they knew I had a blog.

And finally, I’m certain that America will remain the land of the free and the home of the brave, as long as we remain brave enough to stand for what’s right. Our freedom was too hard earned to take for granted or let others try to diminish or take away.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

A New Look

Welcome to RunBikeThrow!

If you were expecting the “Fitness at 50” site, you are in the right place. Starting today, it has a new name, but its purpose remains the same: to post my adventures and lessons learned in running, biking, and Aikido, and to encourage people to get up and get active.

NewLookSameGreatBlogWhy the name change? Two main reasons.

One run in particular really took me out of my 'comfort zone'. Click here to read about it, if you dare.

One particular 2012 run really took me out of my ‘comfort zone’. Click the picture to read about it, if you dare.

I started this blog two years ago to share the challenges I’d planned for my “year of being 50” (2012), including a 500-mile bike ride, 50K run, and taking 50 Aikido classes in a month. That year is now past, and it’s time to move on. But you can browse my successes, failures, and other posts from then, or view a summary on my “Quest 2012” page.

I also wanted to show what’s possible at age 50 and encourage people of that age to get active. But lots of people 50 and over are already very active, and programs are springing up to support them, such as the YMCA’s “50 Moving Forward” program. And my posts were never aimed at the 50-and-older crowd anyway. I want to encourage being fit and active at any age, and that’s the way I’ve been writing my posts all along.

So why the new name of “RunBikeThrow?” It represents the three athletic activities I do and enjoy the most.

 

Holiday Hustle, 2012 (me, front & center)

Holiday Hustle, 2012 (me, front & center)

Run: I started running regularly at age 46 and ran my first race (the Holiday Hustle 5K in Dexter) in 2008. I now run about 1,000 miles a year, including marathons (Chicago 2011 and Ann Arbor 2012) and an ultramarathon (50K at Run Woodstock in 2012). I write about my races, training runs, shoes and other gear, volunteering, and just about anything else related to running.

 

Da Dawg House - Cadillac, MI.

Fuel stop at Da Dawg House – Cadillac, MI.

Bike: I am a recreational cyclist who enjoys long trips through small towns to see (and write about) what’s to see. Last year I completed a ride I’d planned for several years – a 500-mile round trip from Ann Arbor to our campground in Empire and back, at age 50. This year I’ve already put in one weekend tour and will continue to use cycling in combination with distance running to train for my big event this year, and beyond.

 

I learn how to fall down - again.

I learn how to fall down – again.

Throw: I have been a student of Yoshokai Aikido (mainly through the Ann Arbor Rec & Ed club) since 2005, which has changed my life physically, mentally, and to some degree, spiritually. While I am progressing toward and hope to achieve black belt, the greatest reward is in the journey – the training itself, and what I learn from the classes and clinics I attend.

My interest in healthy eating, cooking, and all things chocolate continues as strong as ever, and I will continue to write about them here. But most of what I learn about and experience in the world of chocolate and coffee will be posted on my new blog, which I’ll tell you all about as soon as it’s ready.

So a big THANK YOU THANK YOU to all my current readers, and I hope you like the change! If you’re already following this blog under fitnessat50.net, there’s no need to change anything. You should continue to receive new posts just fine.

Speaking of, we’ll be back to regularly scheduled subjects next time. Thanks for reading!