How to run.


My world is immersed in running. My paycheck comes from selling running shoes. I have run thousands of miles, yet I started just like many of you. I was out of shape. A friend said I should come run. I am sure I was terrified at how bad I was going to be stomped into the ground by my running friend. Just like you. So while most “writers” will say, you shouldn’t give away the farm in the first paragraph, I’m going to do just that. The secret to running is this. Take the first step.

It’s simple really. As kids we spend countless hours running around. In fact, most kids seem to run everywhere they go. They run to the car, they run to see friends, they run around and play. Heck, they hardly walk anywhere.

But it’s frightening. I remember meeting my friend at the lakes for my first run with someone else. I had started the Couch to 5k program from www.coolrunning.com and was up to running 2 miles or so. He was an avid runner and multiple marathon, and Ironman finisher. We met on the shoulder that ran up to Baton Rouge beach on Stanford and got out of our cars. He told me to follow the lakes around and it would be 4.2 miles. We ran to where it turns onto the jogging trail, about 200 yards, and he took off. 47 minutes later I was back at my car. Two min later he showed up, but there was a subtle difference. In the same amount of time, he had run two miles further. Talk about a morale boost (this is sarcasm).

Over the next 4 years, I met him almost every Tuesday and Thursday at 5:30 a.m. to run the lakes, and never once completed a run with him if he didn’t allow me to. But that’s not the purpose of meeting really. It’s about accountability and showing up.

To run you have to simply take the first step, but I realize that it’s also about facing your fears. About possible embarrassment. “What if I can’t run more than 5 minutes? 2 minutes? 1 minute?” “What if I do it wrong?” So many questions, that are all answered by simple taking a step, then another and running. Running like a kid. Feeling the burn, feeling good, and feeling bad, but still continuing to run.

There will be more about how to improve your running if you stay tuned to this blog. The first steps are the hardest, but with local running groups abound, (Happy’s Running Club, CYJ’s Sunday Runday, and Fleet Feet and Varsity Running groups) there are plenty of supportive outlets out there to fuel your fire and journey. One step at a time.

SUP


No I’m not being clever and saying “What’s up?!” I am talking about a relatively new activity that is spreading to waterways all over the world-Stand up paddleboarding, abbreviated SUP. I figured since I have spent the last couple posts telling people what to eat and such, that it would be nice to give you a fun new sport and activity that a whole family can enjoy.

Standup paddleboarding began in the 1960’s in Hawaii as a way for surfing instructors to manage their large groups of students. From a higher point of view the instructors could view oncoming waves as well as take pictures of the tourists. Soon the surfers figured out they could catch more waves and see above a set of waves to catch better ones as well.

The mainland growth of SUP has proven that really all you need is water. Any kind. A river, bayou, ditch, whatever, which bodes well for Louisiania’s plethora of different waterways. Throw in a local boy Troy Archer, pushing the sport through free trials of the YOLO BOARD brand and more and more folks are getting out on the water.

I first got on a board 2 years ago at a free demo day Troy did out at the LSU lakes. The great part about YOLO boarding is that there is no real learning curve. A novice can get on and go immediately. Point proven, that first day my then 5 year old son got on one by himself and was soon paddling all over the lake.

Ian hits the LSU Lakes


Troy got involved innocently enough through his older brother Jeff, who started the YOLO Brand in Northwest Florida in 2005 (www.yoloboard.com). Currently he and Walker Higgins have teamed up to put on Paddlebattle Relays at the LSU lakes, the July version of which had almost 30 3 person teams competing in Male, Female and Co-ed divisions. Everyone from complete beginners to a team that had their own paddles and beat the crud out of all us raced the 2 lap relay.
I bet you were thinking, “I have read this post and so far no telling me I need to go exercise.” Well, think no more. SUP is an awesome full body workout that really works the core. In addition, some brave souls do yoga on the boards.

Boards are priced from a YOLO Yak ($595) a great bulletproof board that is super stable and can be used to fish from as well, all the way to the $1895 YOLO Predator Race board, which is long, narrow and wicked fast. I will be soon purchasing a YOLO Original $1395 a great all around board that you can hit a lake, river, or ocean and my kids can still jump up and get after it.

So the next time you see the YOLO Trailer out at Baton Rouge beach, pull over, introduce yourself to Troy or Walker and take a spin. You will soon get it as well.

HUGS
PF

First Steps


After my “Unapologetic” post a couple weeks back, I received a message via Facebook from a guy I have known for roughly 30 years. It read, “I read that article you wrote for the 225 site. Fair enough, but the problem is that doesn’t help people who are already down that road, who have already developed the bad habits for themselves and their children. It motivates but gives no guidance.” My first thoughts to this were “Seriously?,” and “It’s pretty straight forward,” but then I gave it a moment or two to marinate and I thought, “If I am truly passionate about helping people and families get healthier, I need to do more than just say ‘Get off your ass and do it.'” So I thought some more.

What would I do if my kids and/or I were 15-30 lbs. overweight? What are the first steps to success? What can anyone do, regardless of means and finances to not just “lose weight,” but to make a lifestyle change that sticks?

Over the last few months, my perspectives have changed more and more. In the past, my inclination would have been to say “Exercise, exercise and then when you are done, exercise some more.” This is great advice. Well yes it is and no, maybe this isn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe that everyone should exercise for 30min-2 hrs 5 days a week. There are a ton of benefits to this, not limited to, improved fitness, increased heart health, mental wellness, positive attitudes, weight loss etc., all of which contribute to a healthier lifestyle, but if you run for 30 minutes you will likely burn around 300-400 calories. At this rate you will need to work out 4 hours a day to lose 30 lbs. What I have realized is that the key to lifestyle changes that stick and weight loss that is successful depends 75-85% on what you eat. Keep moving for sure, but eating better is the key.

So if I could give a family 5 steps to getting on the path to success, it would be the following.

1. Cut out fast food. I once had a friend who was trying to lose a ton of weight, like 200 lbs. My fist step was to have him print up multiple pieces of paper with “NO FAST FOOD TODAY” on them and post them on his bathroom mirror, in his car, on the back door, and anywhere he thought he’d need a reminder. He lost like 15 lbs in the first month of this. Cutting out fast food has 2-3 benefits. First it cuts out some fried food usually. Second, it cuts out a sugary beverage of some sort, and thirdly it cuts out a meal of all processed foods.

2. Cook real food for dinner. When I grew up we ate dinner at 6 almost every night as a family. We are in the midst of a generation who doesn’t know how to cook. Convenience seems to trump all, to the detriment of the family dinner. Chances are if you cook dinner even 4 nights a week, you will eat less calories and will eat more vegetables, lean meats and less processed foods with a minimal effort. Stay clear of boxes and lean more on the produce section for your choices. In addition, you may look a bit at what I call “Investment cooking” on the weekends. Prepping food for a couple hours on a Sunday can set up your week for even the most busy of families.

3. Involve your kids in shopping and cooking. I have the pickiest kids on the planet. This is my fault, I have the picky gene and passed it to both of them. I know how hard it is to get kids to eat vegetables and good food. My kids just don’t like a lot. One key to getting them to try new things (besides threats of corporal punishment of course) is to get your kids involved in both shopping and cooking. My wife and I are avid ingredients readers at the grocery store. Our kids now get why and will even pick something up, look at the ingredients and then put it down. They are still kids. They want Oreos and such, but realize why they don’t get them, and over time have learned to make good choices on there own. My wife and I will gladly let the kids prep, cook and choose items for the menus. This gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment when they eat a meal they helped choose and prepare, even if they aren’t a huge fan of broccoli. The added bonus is that you may also learn something from hanging with your kids and talking over dinner. For one, I now know way to much about One Direction. Apparently Niall Horan is Skype Sating Demi Lovato.

4. Dessert is not meant for every meal. I am not sure when it happened exactly, but dessert as a course has become the norm instead of the exception. I found that we were fighting with our kids every night if we had ice cream in the freezer. They wanted it every meal until it was gone. We combatted this a couple ways. First with low calorie fruit popsicles and fresh fruit with whipped cream as an option, and simply by not having it around. When I was a kid you didn’t get a bowl of ice cream every day. Make it something to look forward to, but not a daily occurrence.

5. Sugary drinks-What 7 year old needs to drink Coke? Sweet Tea? Gatorade? Lemonade? When I was in 8th or 9th grade I gained about 25-30lbs of pure fat from drinking Cokes all day long. If I had access to 12, then I’d drink them all if possible. Cut them out or limit them and you will likely cut out a 200-300 calories a day. You know what hydrates better than Gatorade? Water, and its free. As a friend of mine says “It ain’t brain science.”

If you reread the list above you will likely notice a lack of “buy organic,” or “you have to shop at Whole Foods,” or the like. One argument I hear and read a lot is that it is too expensive to eat healthy. Really? This is an excuse and excuses are like….well you get the point. Actually, if you do all 5 of the steps above you will likely save money too, as I just cut out 2-3 grocery items for you (dessert and soft drinks), for that, you are welcome. Give it a shot, stand up to your kids and make a change.

Hugs to the haters-

PF

Could Kenilworth be our Booty Loop?


I live in what I feel could be the neighborhood wielding the most potential in all of Baton Rouge.  Potential to influence, potential for transformation, potential for growth, and potential for increasing value.  This potential could be tapped without renovating a single house or creating a Kenilworth Renegade School district, though the latter I would support.  It could be done with minimal expenditure and the funds spent could be generated by the KCA with my gentle guidance.  With a little work we could turn Kenilworth into our own Booty Loop.

The Booty Loop is a 2.8 mile loop in Charlotte, NC that pulls in cyclists, runners, roller bladers, walkers, families and the like who frequent this loop to train and be seen.  Every year the host the 24 Hours of Booty which is a 24 hour cycling event used to generate funds for LIVESTRONG.  With a blink I can visualize a Pennington Biomedical and BREC co-sponsored event on the Kenilworth parkway that would soon become a must do for the region.  With a state sitting at the number 49th least healthy in the nation, surely we could utilize some of the funds raised to push obesity and health related needs in out City?

So what though would this mean for Kenilworth Parkway?  As it now stands, the parkway is about 2 lanes wide in each direction.  From a cyclists perspective, the “bike lane” is a nice idea, but not executed very well.  The expansion seams are bumpy and countless cars park directly in it daily.  In addition, it is cluttered with trash, glass etc.  My suggestion would be as follows.  First, re paint the lanes to have a full lane for traffic on the right hand side and an enlarged bike lane running along the middle of the parkway on the left.  This would allow folks to pass pretty freely in cars.  Second, control traffic in the right lanes with strategically placed speed humps.  Third, let it be known that this area is a no speeding zone through a heavy fines for offenders.  Use some of these funds generated from tickets for upkeep and the re-painting efforts.  Finally, push my secret agenda of making Kenilworth the healthiest neighborhood in Baton Rouge through events like 5k’s, 24 hours of KDUB, as well as Pennington and BREC sponsored events.

My feeling is that by making Kenilworth THE place to ride and exercise outside of the LSU Lakes system, we give this neighborhood a value which you can’t put a price on.

Unapologetic-


This first appeared on my 225 Blog last week.
I have started this post four or five times and gone back to the beginning.  Some people will read it and say I need to get off my high horse.  Others will say that it is just me promoting my business, and others still will say “Hey, aren’t you taking this a little too seriously? It’s just food.”  Each time I have started over, I am more adamant that I should talk louder.  The food we are eating is killing our nation, crippling our healthcare system, and creating generations of unhappy children who will turn into unhappy adults.

If I come off like a hard line a-hole, well good.  It seems to me that people aren’t speaking up enough.  There seems to be this notion that we should let our kids “be kids” and allow them to eat and drink what they want.  Go to your summer pools and look around at kids drinking 20 ounce Cokes, Gatorades, all day, and view the rolls that they create.  Explain to those kids that you are “letting them be kids”.

There is a notion that my family eats nothing but granola, drinks water, and never eats fast food.  This isn’t the case.  Our kids probably eat Canes and or McD’s 3-4 times a year.  We let them eat ice cream, donuts, and get Sonic Blasts from time to time.  We also constantly have to explain to them that no we won’t pick up Raising Cane’s and bring it to school for their lunch and that there is no crime in not knowing what a Little Debbie Zebra Cake is.

I hate this seeming acceptance of fatness as being “just how it is.”  This is such bs.  Skinny isn’t what it’s all about, but a healthy weight for your body is what people should strive for.  I also know that people can eat correctly and not overcome genetic predispositions.  I have more than a couple friends in triathlon that have lost a ton of weight and will never be skinny.  They are however, healthy and fit.

I walked the aisles of a local grocery store the other day and a thought struck me.  It was simple and like a shot in the neck.  “What % of items in this store are good for me?”  Non processed, no high fructose corn syrup, all natural, lacking preservatives.  While I didn’t go package to package and look at all the labels, it was clear that likely 70-80% of the store violated this.  In fact, if you step back and look down an aisle, you see the dazzling array of colors beckoning you to buy.  If I am being honest with myself, I should ask, “Why are they dressing this up so much if it’s good for me?”  Super sized bags and boxes of empty calories lining aisle after aisle.

Let’s talk a little more.  If I asked you what killed more people heroin or obesity, it should not shock you to know that in 2009 there were approximately 35000 deaths from drug overdoses of all kinds and 400,000 from obesity related illness.

So I’d ask you to forgive me, but I am not apologizing for speaking out nor will I apologize as I keep speaking out. Someone has to.

An Endurance Father’s Day


If you think for a second this list is not self serving, well then you would be wrong.  I will be sending a link directly to my wife, family, friends, and hell, anyone looking for an extra father if I think it may get me some killer schwag for Father’s day.  While everyone says that it’s the thought that counts, this is like 67% true.  33% is straight up based on coolness factor and how much you spend, the only exception to this being homemade gifts from your kids.  So ladies-take heed.

If you have read this blog before, you know that I have to fight the urge to not make lists in every post.  But this bad boy is just aching to be, so without further adieu…

1.  YOLO Stand up paddleboard-$800-1600-  I dig on this so much.  Think large surfboard with a paddle.  You can use this on a lake, bayou, river, ocean, ditch, or wherever there is 18-24 inches of water.  It is so easy my son could paddle by himself at age 5.  Great core workout and peaceful way to see lots of sunrises.  Click HERE to visit their site.  And you can click on this to see my now 7 year old son paddle us along while I film standing behind him.

2.  Mercury Race Wheels Specifically the M9 ($2400).  Deep dish wheels are fast and new aero studies are proving that 25mm wide rims are both stronger and more aerodynamic in both straight ahead riding and cross winds.  I ride a set of 85 mm Mercury Rims with a Power Tap hub all the time.  These are bulletproof.   Oh and the owner of Mercury, Chris Mogridge is a fine upstanding gentleman.

3.  A membership to a beer of the month club (starts @ 36.95 per month)-Here’s one right HERE!  Few things are more intertwined than beer and endurance athletics.  I like beer, and the thought of having beer delivered to my house is almost as awesome as THIS.  My work here is done.

4.  Garmin 910xt-($350-$400)-Garmin is the Apple of performance sport watches in my opinion.  The damn thing is so intuitive that a history degree holding triathlete can figure it out in like 2 mins.  Plus I have seen 3 people jump in the pool with the non waterproof versions of this watch before and come up $350 poorer three seconds later.  Consider the waterproofing, tri-guy stupidity insurance.  I would go on about all the features on this bad boy, but you are a grown up.  Click right HERE and get the skinny

5. Father’s are mostly old.  Old endurance guys are all crooked and stove up.  First go to Trigger Point Therapy and at the least, buy your old guy a GRID.  This thing is the bomb and has kept me knot free when I have the good sense to use it daily.  It is also good for a 7 year old to train on for log rolling and inevitable falls during said training.  There rest of their trigger point kits are awesome as well and will keep your man from looking like a bent over 90 year old (unless he’s 90 then it’s likely too late.)

6. BETABRAND  This is one of my top 10 sites on the web.  Seriously.  Disco ball pants-I own em.  Vagisoft blankets (that’s serious softness).  Drinking and Smoking Jackets, bike to work pants and my new favorite SOCK INSURANCE!!  This team is so freaking creative and fun, and their products are awesome too.  Go for 5 mins, turn around and an hour has passed.  It truly is awesomeness.

7. Rudy Project Wingspan Aero Helmet-aero helmets go fast.  Faster than non aero helmets.  I currently ride with a Specialized and it is truly awesome, but if I am being honest, I want one of these neon green bad boys as well.  HERE is a great review from a guy in Chicago.  That’s in Illinois for all you rednecks.

8.  Steak- Protein aids in making you a better athlete.  Steak tastes awesome.  If you are in Baton Rouge, you can get a great steak at Sullivan’s and support my boy Leo Verde.  While I have not been paid to endorse any product listed so far, I am emailing Leo a link to this blog post exactly 8 seconds after I publish it in order to ensure I get free steak.

So that’s what I’ve got for you.   I could go on and on and on, but this should keep you busy for a while.  I’ll save some for my first annual “Buy Pat Fellows Something on this List” post for my approaching birthday.

Remember-before you go straight to the online world of shopping (Besides Betabrand) check out a local run/bike specialty or outdoor store for the above items.  You’ll be doing a good thing.Hugs to the haters!

PF