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Week 6 of my 16 week training cycle is in the record books. It ended with my first double-digit run of 11 miles. Unfortunately, it also ended with a twinge in my left knee.

At about mile 6 I felt a catch just below south of my kneecap.  “Runner’s knee” they call it. I pulled up short and hopped a couple of times. Ow! Not fun. I walked for a bit and tried it again. It felt okay. I was good!

knee strap

About another mile into it, BAM! It hit me again. After about another mile I was able to 

figure out that as long as I didn’t over-stride I was okay. After that I was able to plod along okay. I finished strong and felt good at the end.

Today, my wonderful wife picked up a knee strap for me. I had actually worn one of these when I first started running because this same knee had bothered me. As I lost weight and got stronger, my knee pain had completely disappeared.

I first noticed it again last week on my 9 mile run. I really think the pain is being caused by the increased total weekly mileage as well as the long runs.

But hey! If a little knee strap solves the problem (which I hope it will), then I’m good to go! I’ve taken it easy for a couple of days. I’ll be out there tomorrow night, and then it’s 12 miles on Saturday.

I’ll let you know how it goes!

On a related note…do you hate cancer? If so, click here!

Tonight, because my son got a free coupon from school, we went to Stevi B’s Pizza.  In case you don’t have Stevi B’s in your area, it’s a mid-grade pizza buffet.  Similar to a Cici’s…maybe slightly better.

Typically (even recently) when we go there, I just go crazy.  I mean crazy! The pieces are thin crust, a little on the smallish size, so I can eat a lot of them.  Here’s the slice-by-slice breakdown:

Trip 1:
Pepperoni and hamburger pizza (x2)
Loaded baked potato pizza
Macaroni and cheese pizza
Pepperoni pizza

Trip 2:
Loaded baked potato pizza
Hawaiian pizza (x2)
Veggie pizza (x2)
Pepperoni pizza

Trip 3:
Loaded baked potato pizza
Supreme pizza (x2)
Cinnamon roll (x3)

Trip 4:
Cinnamon roll (x2)
Green olives (from the salad bar)

Are you seeing the problem at this point?  The tally for this ridiculousness is about 2,700 calories…not counting the olives.  Crazy right!

So, tonight, I went in with a plan and with purpose.  I started off with a nice salad (lettuce, carrots, cucumber, green pepper, banana pepper, green olives, and a touch of Italian dressing).  I followed this up with one piece of pepperoni pizza, one piece of hawaiian pizza, and one piece of spinach alfredo pizza.  This meal came in around 750 calories.

I left feeling victorious!  And full, for that matter.

Side note:  I’ve added a page to my website with links to various fast food joints for easy reference.  Enjoy…and educate yourself!

I need your help! If you listen to the podcast, then you probably already know that this weekend I’m participating in a mud run in Jacksonville, Florida with Don (or my wife if Don’s injuries hold him back). This mud run is part of a larger fundraising effort called “26.2 with Donna”, which is a yearly marathon that raises funds to fight breast cancer.

I JUST found out I need to raise some additional funds to participate. Below is the link if you’re interested in helping. Not many better reasons out there to give!


Thanks in advance!!

About our guest blogger:

Elizabeth is a previous 1 Meal – 1 Workout podcast guest that’s lost 150+ lbs by eating Paleo! She not a registered dietitian (unless I missed something), but she’s done the work and educated herself on how to eat healthier! I’ve asked her to share some of her wisdom with us.  Thanks, Elizabeth.


First, let me say a big thank you to Aaron for having me as a guest on the 1Meal1Workout podcast and now as a guest blogger. I’ve enjoyed both the podcast and blog for a while now, and it’s exciting to be able to contribute to something (and someone) I’ve admired and been entertained by so much!

Let’s dive right into it, with a little talk about why- and how- eating paleo helps to burn fat and promote weight loss.

The Standard American Diet (SAD) promotes a grain-heavy lifestyle. But grains, along with sugars and other carbohydrate-dense foods, have a high glycemic index (HGI), meaning they raise your blood glucose levels quickly and significantly. This hard and heavy rise in the blood sugar elicits an insulin response from the body (insulin being the hormone secreted by the liver to carry the glucose into the actual cells), with the intent to break down those carbohydrates and convert them into energy. However, the high spike in the blood glucose levels, because it is so strong, can encourage an over-response and an overproduction of insulin. This unused insulin is resultantly stored as more fat. Nice, huh?

After hitting the top of a spike from HGI foods, the blood glucose level then does a roller-coaster dive, falling off equally dramatically once the carb energy is used up. Now, protein, fats, and carbohydrates are all sources of fuel and energy for the body, and the body can switch between converting these different food types to energy. But! Breaking down the proteins and fats is a little more work, requiring more effort. When those easy-to-burn carbs are gone, the body tries to get our attention with complaints for more quick and easy energy (the emphasis being quick and easy). This is why we feel hunger just hours after eating and get food cravings, headaches, nausea, lightheadedness or dizziness and more- the body is signaling that it needs more energy sources to use up that extra insulin and have more fuel. Feed me, Seymour!

By the time the body has really switched to burning fat in the fat stores for energy, we’ve already begun to eat something to counteract those body complaints with more foods- usually high-carb ones. And so, the the roller-coaster ride continues.

Paleo, however, takes the crazy dips and valleys out of the equation, because a paleo diet is low-to-moderate carb, avoiding those High Glycemic Index foods. Most carbohydrates in the paleo meal plan come from fruits and vegetables, which are naturally low in carbs and have a low HGI to begin with, so the they affect the blood glucose level in very moderate ways.

Remember that the body can use the protein we eat and the ingested and stored fats for energy too? Because our carb intake on paleo is low, our energy comes from those sources. The paleo body is accustomed to the slow-and-steady release of energy from these foods, and easily switches over to burning the fat stores in between meals without (much) complaint. The blood glucose level rises and falls minimally, insulin is produced in moderate and more exacting amounts (no over-production to be stored as more fat!), and the body can operate as a steady rate, with plenty of energy to sustain us.

With paleo, not only are our bodies operating optimally for fat-burning full time, (especially from those excess stores we have!) we’ve taken the crazy food cravings, the headaches and nausea and lightheadedness from low blood sugar almost completely out of the equation. This helps prevent snacking and overeating, which in turn encourages more weight loss with the consumption of less food overall.

There you have it- a condensed version of how and why a paleo diet yields great weight-loss results. Questions? Comments? I’d love to hear from you.
Thanks for reading!



Read more:

Sometimes, schedules just don’t work out. I’ve tried several times to have Carlton on my podcast, but it just hasn’t happened.  I get it!  He’s an in-demand trainer from Austin, Texas, and many of his clients want to schedule time in the evening.

So instead of waiting several more months, I thought I’d just make it happen by the wonders of technology.  Carlton does a weekly “tipz” show, and he’s always got something to say worth hearing.  Check out one of his latest videos!

Here’s his website:


(Originally posted on my personal blog July 10th, 2010 – exactly two years ago today!)

In case you haven’t been keeping up, I’ve commandeered the empty sub-division next door as my personal walking track. The other night I took it our for a one lap test spin. Today I hit it a little harder.

I did three full laps (in addition to walking to and from), which equated to about 40 minutes of hard walking. If you were to look at the map, you would see that the track is a modified figure 8. The “straightaway” in the middle is about 100 yards long. Here comes the exciting part.

As I was starting the second half of my second lap, and I came up to the straightaway…I started running. Almost without making the decision. I don’t know whether I just wasn’t working hard enough walking or what, but I took off in a brisk trot. That’s right…a BRISK trot.

(Please realize, the only “running” I’ve done in the past eight years has been to McDonald’s. I wasn’t even really sure if I could run without hurting myself. We’ll find out in the morning about that.)

Now, the strangest part. I ran the straightaway, and when I slowed back to a walk, I felt great! I had a rush of adrenaline, my heart rate was up, and I felt great! I actually got chill bumps and I think I might have teared up a little. Why did I tear up? Do you know how long it has been since I have equated working out with feeling GOOD?

So, my challenge to you today is get out, get active, and make your body feel good!

 So, after reading about Paleo all over the internet, doing a podcast about Paleo, doing a SECOND podcast about Paleo with Elizabeth Knecht (a person that’s had great success with Paleo, losing 165+ lbs.), buying and reading the Paleo Solution, I decided it was time to put it in action.

The Paleo Solution has a complete diet plan, so last night, Cheryl and I went to our local grocery store and “shopped Paleo” for the first time. We bought everything we needed for 3 meals and a snack for Monday through Thursday. It was interesting bypassing literally 3/4 of the store.  Here’s a picture of our cart.

2012 07 08 21 50 25

Curious what’s in it?  I’ll tell you!

  • Coconut oil
  • Pistachio nuts
  • Almonds
  • Tomato sauce
  • Avocado
  • Lettuce
  • Cabbage
  • Cucumbers
  • Bell peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Oranges
  • Salad mix
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Flank Steak
  • Salmon
  • Chicken breast
  • Pork loin
  • Hamburger meat
  • Ham
  • Soy sauce (gluten free)

Everyone always says that eating healthy is so much more expensive. Our total tab was $103. Not bad in my opinion. Several of the items span several meals (like the coconut oil, almonds, etc.). 

And what’s the verdict after day one? Yum!

This weekend, for the first time ever, Don, Mark, and I were all in the same room…the entire “1 Meal – 1 Workout” family. Sunday morning, Don and I went for a short run. He in his new Vibrams, and me in my Brooks PureCadence.

I’m endeavoring to run “more naturally” myself. My aforementioned Brooks shoes are one change I’ve made. Additionally, I’m working to have a natural stride. I’ve read, and found to be personally true, that if a person pulls off their shoes and start running, they will tend to move from a heel-strike to a mid-foot or fore-foot strike.

Here’s a couple of articles that I’ve referenced in the past, just in case you’re interested:

Born to Run Barefoot

More Evidence Supports Barefoot Running

So for the past few weeks, when I get to the last quarter-mile of my run, I’ll pull off my shoes and run home barefoot.  No, I’m not joking.  And yes, I look silly doing it.

But today, I was running with Don, and whether or not it was intentional, we ended up in something of a race as we neared my driveway. Here is what I learned from that race.

Running barefoot (socks really) is great and helps my stride.

RACING barefoot (still in socks)….hurts.

My competitiveness kicked in and I started pounding the pavement quite hard. Now, the balls of my feet ache badly on the outside edge. Hopefully by tomorrow evening I’ll be recovered for my Monday run.

I’m not discouraged…just a bit more wise.

About our Guest Blogger:

David Haas joined the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance in 2011 as a cancer support group and awareness program advocate. In addition to researching the many valuable programs available to our site’s visitors, David often blogs about programs and campaigns underway at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance, as well as creative fitness ideas for those dealing with cancer, while creating relationships with similar organizations.


Exercise Can Help Control Cancer

Cancer is one of the major killers of Americans today. Each year, hundreds of thousands die from lung cancer, prostate or breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and mesothelioma.

Exercise is a key component in the fight against cancer. Research has shown that exercise retards cancer growth at several different sites. Exercise also can help fight cancer through enhancing the activity of some cells in the immune system like natural killer cells (white blood cells that kill certain types of cancers), cytotoxic T cells and macrophages.

Animal studies of mice with malignancies indicated that exercising animals showed inhibited tumor growth, extended survival time and even occasional complete tumor regression when compared with sedentary, control animals. In addition, evidence suggests that lack of exercise puts men at heightened risk of colon cancer and women at heightened risk of reproductive system cancers.

Just as the idea of heart patients exercising shocked people 40 years ago, the notion of exercise for cancer patients might surprise many people today. While there are many side effects of cancer, the biggest problem for cancer patients isn’t hair loss or vomiting, but fatigue. There is no medical treatment for fatigue except rest. For many of these patients, the more they rest, the worse they feel.

While a certain amount of rest is good, too much may decrease energy levels. Exercise can counter this “fatigue spiral”, improve physical functioning and possibly enhance immune function.

There are many more beneficial effects of maintaining proper fitness during cancer. Exercise can help empower people with cancer. For many cancer patients, people are always doing things for them, but exercise is something they can do for themselves. It helps give people back a sense of control. In addition to helping them lose weight and increase strength and endurance, exercising makes them feel better. Physical activity can help counter the low self-esteem that may result from cancer treatments.

In general, cancer patients undergoing treatment should focus on light exercise to maintain strength and endurance, and to try to increase their level of function. Cancer survivors in remission should seek exercises that will return them to their former level of physical fitness.

For all cancer patients, an exercise program should include the three basic components of physical fitness: cardio endurance, muscle strengthening and flexibility. Flexibility training can be achieved through stretching exercises or by taking a stretching or yoga class.

Whether you’re trying to prevent cancer or recovering from it, consider improving your level of physical conditioning. Proper fitness could be one of the keys to keeping your body cancer free.


Read more:
National Cancer Institute article about exercise
David’s bio

I got my first sponsor!!

“First sponsor for what?” you ask. Why, for the Georgia Publix Marathon, that’s what!

I’m running the race on March 17th, and I’m attempting to raise $2,620 ($100 per mile) for the American Cancer Society as part of my journey. You can read more about it HERE if you are interested!