Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Windy in Riverside

Tanya and I where in Riverside CA on Sunday to run the Mission Inn Run's 1/2 Marathon. We left our watches at home and just went out for a long run with a bunch of friends. The course was relatively flat which would have made for a fast course, but the infamous Santa Ana winds where visiting for the week. To say the least it got pretty interesting heading north into the winds for miles 8-10, but we had a lot of help at the turn around on this out and back section. There was a very nice tail wind!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Ultimate Vegan Wrap

Last week I had the opportunity to cook for and with, a group of ladies who are also fitness clients of mine. I decided to introduce them to one of my favorite lunch time meals; a vegan wrap. Making the wrap is simple and quick. Preparation time and cooking is less then 30 minutes.
In a pan with a little olive oil, add onions, red / green peppers and cabbage. Saute at med/high heat to your liking. I like my vegetables al dente sometimes; other times more caramelized. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

In another pan with a little olive oil, saute slices of yams (pre-boiled and skinned) until edges form a crispy crust.

On a lavish whole wheat wrap, first spread a layer of hummus followed by black beans. On top of that add liberally the onions, peppers and cabbage. Add salsa or hot sauce if you would like. Then carefully roll and cut in half.

Add cherry tomatoes as a side and BAM!! The "Ultimate Vegan Wrap" will simulate your taste buds. This is a healthy low fat meal that packs highly nutritional punch.
Remember "Eating healthy is easy". Your body will love you for it!
Dr. M

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tanya Johnson: Ultra Runner

I love this picture of my wife, it was taken a few years back while she was running the Javalina Jundred. The Javalina in a 100 mile ultra-endurance race held each year in AZ. Why do I love this picture? Well I see so much there, maybe things only I can see. I see strength, beauty, focus, intensity, determination, dedication,... poetry, but most of all I see the woman that I love. To love someone, and to be loved is the greatest gift. I thank the creator for allowing me to spend my days with her.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Long Beach 1/2 Marathon

Sunday Tanya and I ran the Long Beach 1/2 marathon. Not boasting, but I can get accustomed to these shorter distance races. Let me elaborate on some of the reasons why. Planning is pretty simple, show up and run. Ultras: drop bags/electrolytes/nutrition/clothing: what to pack, which aid station to leave it at, when will you get to it. Time is a biggie: 1/2 marathon less than 2 hours, home in time to see the second half of the early game (West coast). East coast home in time to see the whole game! Ultra's, depending on the distance (5-29+ hours), forget about the games period! Monday night football ? maybe in a coma!
So with that said, you decide!
Time to go watch the game!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Finally Done

On Sunday September 26, 2010 I completed the "Las Vegas Triathlon" (Olympic distance). For those of you who don't know the break down of each event in the Olympic distance; let me tell you. The swim is 1.5K (0.932 miles), the bike is 40K(24.85 miles), and the run is 10K(6.21 miles). I titled this post finally done simply because I have been contemplating doing a triathlon for about 2 years. I was getting tried of hearing about me doing one myself! I must say I had large goals when the thought of triathloning came into my mind, I said I'm going to sign up and do an Ironman. I had these thoughts because of my running background and resume of ultra marathons, I thought heck if I can run 30, 50, even 100 miles I can do an Ironman! But thank you Lord, my wife was the voice of reason, she said "Marc,.. honey why don't you do a shorter distance first, then build up to the Ironman distance. Try a TRI out first and see if you even like doing them!" I am glad I listened to her, and I will explain why later.
The Journey began back in June. Personal training client, and friend Ray and I made the commitment and signed up for the Las Vegas triathlon. We chose Las Vegas because it was a lake swim, September in Vegas is still warm and purchasing a wet suit would not be necessary. I committed to the Olympic distance and Ray the sprint distance.
Fast forward to race morning, though I was nervous about the race especially the swim portion, I slept soundly. Tanya and I were up a 4am, the transition area opened at 5am and it was first come first serve. I wanted to get what I thought would be a good spot. Not long after getting to the Lake and setting up my transition area, we met up with Ray and his wife Jeannette. The day previous we checked out the swim area and drove the cycle course, but the vision of how far the buoy's where off shore for each of our races shot a bullet of doubt across our minds. They looked so incredibly far off shore. We had spent the last 3 months training in a pool, we were going to have to adjust to open water swimming on the fly.
I was up first, the Olympic distance men started at 7am, the Olympic distance women at 7:10, and the Sprint distance men (Rays group) at 7:20am. As I began stripping down to my swim gear, Ray kept saying "man I'm glad I don't have to swim as far as you do, man that buoy is way out there!" I know he was having fun, but he was right, that buoy was way out there! Time to focus. First I put my ear plugs in, then my color coded bathing cap,and finally my goggles. Tanya gave me a kiss and said "best of luck baby", I heard her,but didn't hear her. My mind was on that buoy; and making it out of that water alive! We had a deep water start so we had to wade out to just above waist deep. The lake bottom was mud and it felt terrible, it was at least 10 inched deep, every step felt disgusting.
The starter on a megaphone yelled get ready, set, GO!! I was off free style baby, I was in the mix of about 40-50 other swimmers. As quickly as it began, I began to have some trouble. I never felt so much panic, I felt claustrophobic, like my head was clogged. I tried to relax but my chest began to tighten up. I came up for a look and that buoy seemed to extend even farther and farther away. I laid over onto my back, and started to have doubts, I don't think I can make it! I laid there on my back for a few seconds and thought how disappointed I would be in myself if I turned around. I knew I was prepared, had trained appropriately, I paused, pulled out those ear plugs, and my head cleared. I turned back over and began to breast stroke, "just keep moving" I told myself my heart rate dropped and I was able to get back in rhythm. I had made it through that storm. 46 minutes later I was exiting the water, Tanya and Jeannette were cheering me on. Thank you "Lord" the biggest challenge of the day was over. Though I struggled in the beginning, my swim goal was an hour; 46 minutes, I was pleasantly surprised.
After exiting the lake we had to run uphill for about 50 yards to enter the Transition area, I had laid my red,yellow,and green Bob Marley towel out to make finding my area easy. When I got there Tanya was already standing along the fence giving me words of encouragement. I had laid things out to move through swiftly. First it was put on shirt, helmet, sunglasses. Then dried my feet, put on socks, cycling shoes, and got out of there. (T1) 5 mins and 43 secs way to slow!
Great! the cycling section started with a hill. No worries I had already set my gears to make hopping onto my bike effortless. I clicked my feet in; it was time to put the pedal to the medal. Other then a steady head wind from mile 7 to a turn around at mile 11 the bike section was uneventful. I really felt in my element, my legs were strong; being able to pass riders who exited the swim faster than I did felt good. I really enjoyed the desert landscape, the rolling hills made for a fun and fast ride. The outside temperature was really beginning to rise as I finished.
Finally run time, the last section of the ride was down hill to the transition area. It was cool to zoom into the area, and see all the athletes coming an going. I jumped off my bike and made it to my things. I was feeling great, running was my going to be my strength; I thought. I quickly hung my bike, took off my helmet, and shoes. I laced up my running shoes, grabbed a gel, guzzled some fluids and was out, (T2) 2 mins and 29 secs. Much better than T1 but still a bit slow. The run section just like the bike course started uphill. I felt ready as I took off, but as I started running my legs felt very heavy. I never felt this in my brick workouts, they usually felt rubbery, but not heavy. As much as I wanted to run, I had to power walk most of the hill, and for the first couple of miles the heavy feeling would not go away. To run it really took a lot mentally and physically. After making it to the turn around, the heaviness disappeared; I was then able to get into a rhythm and knock off the last miles. The mid morning sun really began to heat things up, it would reach 103 degrees by the time I finished. I was so happy to see Tanya, Ray and Jeannette as I ran downhill to the finish. My final time was 3 hours 32 mins 44 secs.

What an adventure, I had a challenging but fulfilling morning. Finally done, no more talk of becoming, because I am now a TRIATHLETE! Thank you dear for talking me out of attempting an Ironman on my first TRI! Heck I might still be trying to finish the 2.5 mile swim of an Ironman!
Ray has a great day finishing his race way ahead of the time he has given himself. His goal was 3 hours or less, and he finished in a blazing time of 2 hours 21 mins 50 secs! Kudos man!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Up to Speed

Though we have not posted in a long time our adventures have not stopped, let me get you up to speed on what we have been up to. After trekking across the Grand Canyon in May, we headed up to Central California to run "Shadow of the Giants" located just out side of Yosemite National park. The race is listed as a 50K but it turned out to be 34 miles instead of the 31 miles the 50K denotes. The extra miles didn't matter, it was an incredible day running in an incredible place with the woman I loved incredibly. Does that make sense?
Look our garden has been doing incredibly well! Hey that works! Love those purple bell peppers. Who loves turnips? I sure do, root vegetable are so incredibly rich in nutrients. Incredibly there it is again.
Then in July we climbed Mt. Whitney 14,495 ft. This was our fourth trip, and my second time to the summit, but I did not get away without elevation sickness.

As you can see on my face I was not feeling that great, but it got really ugly a short time from this picture on the decent. Let's just say "Vomit" 3x's and one hell of an 11 mile decent, without being able to drink or eat for most of it. Tanya had no trouble as always, must be girl power or something.
August has been a fun month of training, I am signed up for the Las Vegas Olympic distance triathlon on September 26th. The swim discipline has been the most challenging, but by the 26th I feel I will be ready. Tanya is still debating on whether to participate, or allow me to do this alone. What do you think, should she join me?
That get's you up to speed on what we have been up to, until my next post ~One Love

Friday, May 28, 2010


We had another incredible year running the Grand Canyon. Year after year it just gets better, I never grow tired of the natural beauty of the place, and the challenge, it takes will and determination. I have run across several times, it is never easy! Just you against the elements. Sometimes its cold, sometimes it hot; VERY HOT! It has been wet, and dry, but it has never been easy! As I write this I am already dreaming about running it next year! Enjoy the Video's.

*Scroll to the bottom of the page to Turn off the music.

Downhill is always fun!

Sorry for the sideways view!

It's wasn't fun fighting a chest cold.

It was Bambi!

The temperature was 100 and rising!

Absolutely incredible, I just love this place!

Feeling the Pain! No more running!

She maybe feeling great!, but I am beat and I am not doing all that! LOL!

I hope you had time to check them out, as I always say life is an adventure, so get out there and LIVE!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010



On a recent trip to visit family in Philadelphia/Yeadon, PA Tanya and I just had to find a race. What did we find, just the largest 10 miler in the USA. The "Broad Street Run" and this year the race sold out! 30,000 runners!! Can you believe 30,000 runners in a 10 miler! I was a little concerned about logistics, because it was an end to end race, but the directors had everything
under control. The morning of the race participants parked their cars for free at Lincoln Financial field. We then boarded the Broad Street Line subway for a free ride to the start.
This worked out perfectly, it was also fun riding the subway with so many runners.
Corrals separated runners according to expected finishing times, unlike other races the vast majority of people went to their assigned corral without issue. I hate it when walkers jump into the 8:00 min/mile pace corral and create traffic jams when the race starts. Each Corral also had a staggered start which reduced congestion and made for a smooth start.
Philadelphia is known for it's incredible murals all over the city. I had to get a picture of the champs. Can you name them?
The heat we experienced that day was unexpected, I grew up in the area and never remember it being so hot and humid so early in the year. 90 degrees in May is unheard of, I thought I was in Bermuda in August. Hot and sticky! In the distance is city hall, which is roughly the half way point. I actually had a rough beginning, but ended up finishing strong.

We made it to the Philadelphia Navy Yard, where the race ended, and I made it to the bathroom! Whew!
Our goal was to finish in 1:30:00, we finished just under that at 1:29:30.
No medals for finishing? We were a little disappointed. But running 10 miles with 30,00 other runners. There is no better way to spend a Sunday morning.
Keep fit my friends

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Non-Weight Bearing Exercise

Last weekend Tanya and I had the opportunity to go sailing with friends. It had been many years since either of us had been sailing, yearning for the deep blue sea we jumped at the chance.
She was named the "Evening Star" a sea worthy vessel. We set sail out of Newport Beach, CA. We loaded her up with plenty of munchies, I hear sailing makes you hungry :)

After Alex guided us out of the harbor, I was handed the Helm. As a south westerly wind pushed us towards Dana point, I couldn't stop thinking of the early explorer's. The fantastic, but treacherous journeys to far and distant lands, many to be sucked up by the sea and never see land again. Hey, does this thing have life jackets!
Ay' mates, it's the pirates life for me! See any whales yet! No but I did see a mermaid!

Oh' land ho, crew!

Tanya at the helm, intensely focusing as the wind picks up and our knots quicken. It was her job to bring us back home to the harbor safely.

Riding the "Evening Star" like a surf board. BABY!
We had a great day with wonderful friends. We look forward to sailing again soon, Catalina Island here we come.
One Love,

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Still Snow in the Mountains

Last week Tanya and I decided to take a hike. From the valley below where we live the front side view of mountains are bare of snow. Only a 30 minute drive landed us into a winter wonderland. There has been a lot of rain this year in the lowlands, which equates to snow in the highlands.
Ice house Canyon is a very scenic trail that begins around 5000 ft. The trail meanders uphill along a creek for 3.4 miles and ends at the Saddle. The Saddle is a trail junction from which you can follow other trails to Mtn Peaks such as the 3 T's (Timber,Telescope,Thunder), Ontario peak, and Cucumonga peak. A gateway into the mountains.
The higher we hiked the deeper the snow got and the colder the temperature dropped.

We made to the Saddle, but where are the signs leading to the other peaks?

Cucamonga Peak Trail sign!

Ontario Peak trail sign.
The signs stand at least 4 ft high, so even late into April, there is quite a deep snow pack.
Until next time.
Hike or run a trail, it will do the body good!

Sowing Seeds

2010 will make the third year Tanya and I have grown most of our vegetables. Living in So Cal we have a long growing season. Depending on the vegetable the harvest can be year round. An example would be Kale and Collard Greens; they are rich leafy greens that do excellent in winter. We have had a lot success growing in the ground along our back wall, but the weeds at times become difficult to control; so this year we decided to add above ground planters. We had some yard space under a bedroom window that was perfect. I wasn't exactly sure how to build and how large to make the planters, so I searched the net for help. I came across dozens and dozens of backyard gardening sites, all full of helpful information and suggestions. Many were sophisticated and some simple, but all produced beautiful and healthy vegetables. I decided to go with three 4x4 foot planters, each constructed with 4x6 inch pieces of wood. The job was very easy and took me no time to finish. All I needed was wood, 3 1/2 inch wood screws and a drill.
First I cleared the space under the window of any weeds, and then leveled the dirt.
The first planter went together in a jiffy, the 3 1/2 inch wood screws pulled the wood together securely and tight.
I was done all thee in less than and hour, all exactly 4x4 with a little bit of walk space between each to tend to the crop and any weeds that may pop up.

I then put a layer of weed block and wood chips for added weed control, and also look.

I filled each with grow mulch and soil. The hard part is done! Now just "Sow the Seed" and allow the Sun and the seeds do their work.
Growing your own food is simple and fulfilling, not to mention the health benefits. If you want to improve your diet and save some money; backyard gardening is the way to grow, and the fruits and vegetables taste so much better than what you get at the grocery store.
There is no better way to fuel your body for those long miles than home grown food. I can't wait to share pictures of what our planters will produce this year.
Provoke, Encourage, Elevate.
One Love,
Marc and Tanya

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Has Been a Good Month

Thus far February has been a good month of training. Tanya and I have been getting in daily miles, and though I am still not 100%; with each week I feel better and better. The Race Bug has been nibbling at us though, this past week end was the Orange Curtain 50K and the Pasadena Marathon. We ran both of those races last year. I would have loved to have been out there, especially with them being so close to home, but I know my body is not ready for that distance yet. I have been dealing with Piriformis Syndrome, which is similar to sciatica in symptoms, so you can imagine the discomfort I feel at times. I have been working my miles up slowly, this morning was the longest I've run in months, 10 miles. I had no discomfort until mile 8, so then I slowed my pace and did some walk intervals. In May we are going to run the Broad Street run, and the Grand Canyon. I wish to miss neither, so when my body talks I listen. Running with pain is no fun.
I look forward to sharing with you our new adventures, I think 2010 is going to be full of them!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Getting Strong Again

I am looking forward to tomorrow, instead of going for a long trail run, I'm going to go for a long mtn bike ride. Can't wait, I have been riding a lot more in the last couple of months. Great Cross-training.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It's Been Awhile

Let nothing perturb you,nothing frighten you. All things pass. God does not change. Patience achieves everything.
~Mother Teresa
I can hardly believe it is already January 27th, 2010. It just blows my mind, time seems to be passing so quickly. There is so much I still want to do and achieve, but I often feel time is not on my side. 2009 kinda ended on a sour note, our last major race the Javalina Jundered ended early for both Tanya and I. As much as we prepared, things are still out of our control. The Sunday before the race Tanya can down with a light cold, which was accompanied with a heavy chronic cough. I don't think she has had a cold in years, but it would come the week before we attempted to run 100 miles. My trouble was of a different sort that started the Wednesday morning before the race. I was taking a morning shower, I slightly bent down to cross my right leg across my left knee to scrub my foot. I first felt a twitch in my right lower back and then Bam lock down , I couldn't move and the pain was intense. From that moment forward the slightest movement, or strain just took my breath away. To make a long story short we still drove out to Arizona and attempted the race anyway. We made it through the day, but as the night approached and the temperatures cooled, Tanya's cough reappeared and got worse and worse; and my low back locked down and my entire body stiffened. We made it to mile 60, and both decided it's better to live to fight another day. Tanya has completely recovered, by I have some lingering effects, which has caused me to drop my weekly miles considerably. With Chiropractic treatment, weight training and rest, I feel that the worse has passed.
We are presently running and riding base miles, but have no events penned in as of yet. I take that back we will be running across the Grand Canyon again with friends in May. That's always a blast.
We did spend a day exploring Joshua Tree National Park recently. The Park is not far from Palm Springs, CA. The rock formations there are incredible, almost like being on another planet. It's a cool and far out place.
What do you see? Let me know.
Rock climbing been there done that, not my cup of tea.
Time stops for no one, let's get outside, go somewhere, do something you have been dreaming about. Life is too short not too.
One Love
~Marc and Tanya