Spectrum Trail Racing Series

July 13, 2015

Trail racing is a strange  and kind of lonely sport. One might even argue that it’s THE sport for introverts. You might relate to my experience. I wake up early and run trails (usually alone) for months on end to prep for a race. Not to mention the weekend long runs that span anywhere from 3 to 6 hours. Once the race comes, I drive into town, pitch a tent in the woods, run the race by myself (unless I have a pacer), and then get in my car and go home. This may sound depressing but it is quite amazing! I love running, nature, and alone time. These times are refreshing to my body, mind, and soul. That said, it is all anticlimactic. All that training just to cross the finish line and go home?

I do wish trail racing events were more family/spectator friendly and conducive to hanging out. I mean, how cool would it be if I when I finished a race there would be a big party waiting for me?! That would be WAY better than the stock pot of non-vegan friendly soup at the aid station I can’t eat. Hell, most people aren’t eating it!


There’s A New Series In Town…


Enter the amazing Spectrum Trail Racing Series. (Quick disclosure, I am on their trail running team so this is bias. They paid me tons of money to run for them and write this. In reality, I run with them because I love what they are doing. Although lots of money wouldn’t be bad.)
The Spectrum Trail Series is all about one thing, the love of running. The races focus on running awesome trails with awesome runners and celebrating EVERYONES achievement. The whole weekend is a party that acknowledges all the work YOU put into training and finishing the race.

What does this celebration look like? Here is a peek at some of the awesome festivities to expect.

Friday Night Films

We will have an outdoor film each Friday at 8 pm, the night before the race. There will be a variety of short adventure films, lasting about 1-1.5 hours total. Complimentary popcorn will be handed out (2 flavors: cinnamon roll and white cheddar)


Who wants to just wait around for runners to finish? What if there was something fun to do? There will be three lawn games: horseshoe, washers, and ladder-ball. We are also working on a forth secret game. This will be great fun for spectators, family, and finishers.


Tons of great music played over the speakers throughout the race. An Austin band, Phoenix Down, will show up to play for about 2 hours in the late afternoon the day of the race.

There will also be some great stuff from sponsors Deep Eddy Vodka and Hops & Grain.


It doesn’t matter is you are trying to set a 12 hour PR, finish your first 50K, or your first 10k on trail, Spectrum has you covered. There will be 4 great races this fall; Flat Rock Ranch Marathon and Half, McKinney Roughs 10k/25K/50K, Muleshoe 10k/25K/50K, and the McKinney Roughs 12 Hour Relay or 30k. All these races have been well thought out and planed. I have run a lot of the trails as we have planed out the courses. The scenery is great!

These races are going to be a blast and we would love to see you there! For more information on the races or to register visit www.spectrumtrailracing.com.


Fall Asleep Fast And Stay Asleep | 12 Steps To Rest Better

May 22, 2015

Sleep is one of the most important factors, if not the most, when it comes to recovery. To many of us rest is sitting on the couch and binge watching Netflix. This isn’t a bad thing. It just ins’t real rest! Our bodies need to sleep to really rest. They need to sleep a lot at that!

While we sleep our cells produce chemical reactions that rebuild muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Our bodies do this all day long too. But during sleep our pituitary gland produces more growth hormones than when we are awake. This means that sleep is key to recovery and even performance.

We all hear that 8 hours is what we need for a good night sleep. We treat this like a maximum when in reality it should be a minimum! I know that it is hard to get 8 hours. But, it is something we should all strive to meet and exceed.

As a parent with three kids in the house, a business to run, clients to please, workouts to do, and tons of miles to log each day, I know it is hard to get 8 hours of sleep. The hardest part about rest for me is falling asleep. It has been a problem my whole life. The second hardest part is going back to sleep if I’m awakened. I usually can’t go back to sleep for hours! There have been times my son had to pee at 2:30 at night and I didn’t fall back asleep until 4:45am! Only to have my alarm go off 15 minutes later at 5am! This is because I just can’t shut of my mind. I am always thinking, dreaming about the future, worrying, working, and planning.

I have been slaving away for years to overcoming my restless mind. It is still a process but I have learned a lot and would love to share what I have learned with other insomniacs. Below are some practical ways to help you go to sleep and sleep better. This isn’t just about quantity. It is about quality too! Continue Reading…



April 15, 2015
Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are the dead. ― Aldous Huxley, Do What You Will: Twelve Essays

Consistency is a funny thing. When you have it, you don’t realize that it’s there. You just go through your days doing what you normally do. Without it however, you can feel like life is out of control and slipping away from you.

In running, especially ultrarunning, consistency is key. You don’t just wake up one morning and run 100 miles. You have to get up and train everyday for a long time. You may not be running everyday, but you are training. What you eat, how you sleep, the days you take off, it’s all training.

When I started this journey last August I hadn’t been consistent with running. We had an off and on relationship to say the least. I knew that this relationship had to change if I was going run Leadville in 2015. I needed everyday to be a training day. As I looked into training and consistency, I realized that it was just about priorities, habits, and small decisions. Each day I needed to wake up and simply make the right choices for that day. I didn’t need to worry about running the 100 mile race. I needed to make sure I ate, ran, and rested well for that specific day. That was all. Nothing more, nothing less.

“How you spend your days is how you spend your life.” just kept running through my head. I knew what I needed to do. Now, it was just time to act. It was time for me to become an ultra runner. By sheer willpower and making the right daily decisions, I transformed myself into a running machine.

This transformation happened almost over night. In just a few months time I was waking up at 5 am, running 40+ mile weeks, doing long 20+ mile trail runs once a week, and lost 10 pounds of fat while build muscle. I was single minded. It was amazing. From August to January I could count the running days I had missed on one hand. Consistency all the sudden seemed easy. I couldn’t believe how far I had come. Honestly, It seemed pretty easy too. My life felt perfect, as if nothing could derail me. On one of my 20+ mile runs in 40 degree weather and rain I had a revelation. I realized I was so content with my running, family life, spiritual journey, and work that I thought if I slipped and died I would be happy. I was happy. The cold and raid couldn’t bring me down. Perhapses the weather was a foreshadowing of things to come.

The first wave in the assault on our consistent and pretty “perfect” life hit at the beginning of February. I mean, our life wasn’t perfect. We had a three year old and 10 month old at this point. More accurately, life seemed perfect in-between the screaming and raving fits. Since February, each week has had its own new challenges and struggles. With the funerals, stomach flu, multiple injuries, 2nd wave of stomach flu, looking for a church family, preparing taxes, working out of town, food poisoning that left me in a field behind a gas station at 11pm at night, struggling with the social security administration for days, a broken down car, foster care continuing education, running a business, missed work days, parenting and being a husband, not to mention all the meetings with CPS and our foster daughter’s legal team, there hasn’t been time to run.

Then we received a call for an emergency placement that we knew we needed to take. All the sudden our two bedroom apartment had three kids under four. We were and are officially outnumbered!

Though all this was difficult, the hardest part was watching Leadville slip away right before my eyes. Each day I didn’t run was one step back ward and a day closer to the race. How did this happen? Why did it happen? I used to love getting up early to run. Now, I had trouble just getting up! I was only running about 10 miles a week. That wouldn’t be enough to finish a 100 mile race. The only thing that seemed to be consistent was inconsistency.

I wanted to give up. I did give up. I would just run Leadville in 2016. I felt like a failure. I let people down. I let myself down. It was over.

I decided to tell my wife about my decision. Before I could even tell her what I was thinking, she told me not to quit. To keep on going. It seemed impossible but I knew she was right. I had to keep going. If I couldn’t keep going now, how would I keep going when my mind and body were shutting down 80 miles into the race? This wasn’t failure. This was a part of training. I was learning how to keep going even when all I wanted to do was quit.

I’m happy to say, I’m back on track running again. I’m behind on my training but I know I can make it up. There is still enough time. I will just have to work harder and smarter. Consistency is hard. Contrary to what I believed, it isn’t a short term play. It is a long term investment but the dividends make the wait worth it. Maybe consistency isn’t about being perfect and making all the right choices. What if it’s about the “failures” and learning to keep going in spite of them.

Psalms 24:16 says, “for the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.”

Perhapses Thomas Wayne said it best, “And why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.”


How to increase your running effort and endurance in 10 days!

March 19, 2015

Most athletes and trainers are always on the hunt for ways to run faster and further. It can and should be a noble endeavor, but that isn’t always the case. We have seen some great athletes like Lance Armstrong fall from the top because of doping. It is sad when this happens. Not only because of the dishonesty but because it usually isn’t healthy. The majority of steroids and drugs have serious side effects and are worse for your body in the long run.

That is why I always look to food for enhancing my performance. As a whole food plant based athlete, my ears are always to the ground listening for new foods and whole food plant based supplements. If I can reduced the sports drinks and sugary fuels while I am out on the trail, I will!

Enter Peppermint Essential Oil

I have known about peppermint for awhile. We have used it in our family to reduce bad fevers and even as an “energy shot”. I once drove 16+ hours through the night on carrots, water, smelling and taking peppermint oil, and jumping jacks at gas stations. I only got coffee the last 2 hours because the sun was coming up and it was getting colder outside! Needless to say peppermint is always on our road trips to help us stay alert without all of the sugar and caffeine.

However, it wasn’t until recently that I thought about using it on my runs!

I recently read a post on Breaking Muscle about a scientific study done on peppermint essential oil and running performance. The study was done by the International Society of Sports Nutrition. Up until this point peppermint has only been tested, and without effect on performance, via breathing the oil. However, in this new study they had 12 healthy male students drink 500ml (16.9oz) of water with .05ml (literally 1 drop) of peppermint essential oil each day for ten days. The results were amazing! They basically worked 50% harder and went 25% further!


My Personal Experiment

Once I read this I had to give it a try. I went for a 13.1 mile trail run (check it out on Strava and give me a follow!) and ditched my sports drink powder for peppermint essential Oil. I however made two mistakes, 1. I used two drops and not one. and 2. I put peppermint in both of my water bottles. The 2 drops wasn’t too intense for me but it could have been for people not used to the oil. It is considered a “hot essential oil”. When I run I usually have one bottle for sports drink and one for water. I don’t know why I didn’t keep this rule. I guess I was just over excited. There were a few times when I wanted water without peppermint in it. I also wanted to see what the prolonged daily usage of peppermint in water would do, like in the study, so I have been drinking the mixture after lunch everyday. This has also helped with my overall mood and energy for the rest of the day. No more afternoon lull!

My Personal Results

So did it work for me? YES! Having water with peppermint essential oil in it was amazing. The first time I took a drink the aroma filled my mouth, nasal cavity and lungs. It immediately opened up my chest and I felt like I could I breath extremely well. I received this effect every time I took a drink. I also ran my fastest 13.1 miles on trail to date. I ran it in 2:06:53 which is a 9:40/mi. That isn’t bad at all considering some of the technical parts of the trail I was on! Needless to say I was very excited and won’t do a long run or a speed training run without peppermint essential oil in my water!

Quick side note. There are a lot of great essential oil companies out there and a lot of bad ones. Make sure that your oils are pure, high quality, and high potency. You don’t want to ingest sub par oils. IF you want to know more about the oils that I use, contact me.


The really exciting thing about Peppermint Essential Oil is that its analgesic, antibacterial, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antioxidant, and antiviral properties (Source Modern Essentials Page 90). This means that not only are you getting an energy boost but you are also taking care of your body and helping it recover properly! Thats awesome!

This isn’t just related to running. Anyone can benefit from this mixture while living an active and healthy life.

How do you use peppermint to fuel your life? What is your favorite way to use it, drink, in a spray bottle, etc. Let us know in the comments!


New Sponsor! KeepItEssential.com

February 13, 2015
I am super excited to introduce you to my new sponsor www.KeepItEssential.com! It is an educational site dedicated teaching others how to support their emotional, physical, and spiritual health with essential oils. Oh no!!! I just said Essential Oils! Before you think about all of the posts from your friends and family about oils or blow them off as a fad or hippie juice, hear me out. I wouldn’t say yes to a sponsor without being 100% behind what they are doing.


Keep it Essential is run by someone I am proud to call a friend. Monica Sawyer is one of the most determined, hard working, and passionate people I know. Her graphic design company, McLeod Creative, is responsible for the largest bridal publication in South Texas, The One Bride Guide. She also founded PATCH. A non profit dedicated to reviving downtown Corpus Christi by renovating the historic RITZ Theater. Her list of accomplishments literally go on and on. I have learned so much from her over the years. With keepitessential.com she has taken a site from zero readers and exploded it to one of the must-reads in the essential oil world.Our partnership is meant to be simple and respectful to both of our readers. To put it simply, we will be testing different oils for performance enhancement, injury prevention/healing, and overall health. We have already discovered some amazing things and I can’t wait to share them!

So Why Am I Promoting Essential Oil Use?

This post is a bit long but I want you to truly know why I am excited about this partnership. I feel like the more information I can give you, the less skeptical or critical you will be of the content. It may seem like there is a lot here in this post, but we are just scratching the surface! If you want to know more, keep reading!

A Very Brief History

Essential Oils are getting a bad rap these days. People see them as placebos, a fad, or the new spam of social media. But, they aren’t any of these things (well maybe there are as many photos of oils as people’s kids). Aromatic essential oils have been used for medical practices, beauty treatments, religious ceremonies, and food preparation for thousands of years. The Egyptians were amoung the first to utilize Essential Oils extensively. They considered frankincense, sandalwood, myrrh, and cinnamon as very valuable and even traded them for gold. The Greeks and the Romans built upon what the Egyptians knew and used oils in aromatherapy and therapeutic massage. The Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic have also been known for their extensive and historic use of herbs and essential oils. It was the Persian however that started to refine the distillation and extraction of oils. Since those days, oils have been used in every corner of the globe. It wasn’t until the advent of modern medicine that essential oils took a back seat. That being said, there were many chemist and doctors who studied and made great advancements with Essential Oils in the 20th and 21st centuries. The most well known being the French Chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse and French physician Dr. Jean Valnet.

What Is An Essential Oil

Essential oils are the aromatic compounds found in the seeds, bark, leaves, stems, roots, flowers, fruit, etc. of plants. These compounds protect the pants from the sun, disease, insects, bacteria, and more. They also give plants their smell. As you can imagine these chemical constituents that protect the plants can also be useful to us. These compounds don’t heal the plants; they protect them. In the same way, essential oils don’t heal people. If anyone tells you that essential oils heal people, they are lying. However, essential oils do protect, detoxify, balance, and help our bodies’ nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory, lembic, etc. systems work properly. The human body can heal itself. Maybe I should say that again, the human body can heal itself! That is pretty freak’n amazing! However, due to poor nutrition, sleep deprivation, chronic inflammation, stress, toxic loads, and more, our bodies don’t work they way they should. High-quality therapeutic-grade essential oils can help bring our bodies back into balance and give them what they need to heal. The more I have studied the science behind oils the more convinced I am that they work.


Essential oils are extremely effective for many reasons but here are my favorite three;

1. Bioavailability/absorption

Oils are extremely small on the molecular level. This allows them to be absorbed quickly into the skin and begin circulating in the blood stream almost instantaneously. They can effect every cell in the body within 20 minutes. That is extremely fast!

2. Potency

High quality therapeutic grade essential oils are very potent. 1 drop of peppermint oil is equivalent to 28 cups of peppermint tea. These oils are basically herbs on steroids! If you love healing herbs, you will love essential oils!

3. Aromatics

Because essential oils come from aromatic compounds they have the ability to effect the body without having contact! Thats right, you can receive the benefits of essential oils without even touching them. Think of it as 2nd-hand smoke that is actually good for you! You would be amazed at how powerful just the smell of some of these oils are! We like to diffuse oils before our foster kids’ legal teams come. It seriously helps with the mode of the meetings. I can’t tell you how many people comment on how peaceful our apartment is!

My Personal Experience With Essential Oils

I heard about using Essential Oils for therapy and wellness a couple of years ago. They were spreading like wildfire among our friends and the proof was in who’s kids were getting sick at the church nursery. It was kind of crazy to see the difference between kids using them and not using them. Even so I thought they were expensive and something that only women were into. Once we got some though, I was quickly on board. I hate taking meds and I felt like I finally found something that actually helped without popping pills.
At this point we didn’t have many oils and my knowledge was pretty weak. It wasn’t until a photographer I worked with in Corpus Christi, Katie Leverenz, asked me to film some videos for her, that I had the opportunity to try more oils. She is one of the most knowable people I have ever met when it comes to oils! I spent the day filming her teaching educational classes. It blew my mind! The best part is that her husband is an ER doctor and had so many amazing things to say about the oils and their efficacy! It was awesome. Needless to say, I got a bunch of oils after that project and haven’t looked back since.

Essential Oils have helped me with so many problems, including all kinds of pain, digestive issues, immune system boots, and more! We even clean our house with them. They have also helped us with tons of crazy things that come up when you are a foster parent! I seriously love oils. I just never wanted to share about them online because so many people post about them all the time. I didn’t want to be one of “those” people. I thought of oils as that thing housewives talk about and have bath salt parties for. Guys don’t talk about that stuff in public right? Well, that isn’t true. Essential oils are for the whole family, especially runners and athletes!


I am really excited about working with Monica at www.KeepItEssential.com. We have some great things in store!

What are your thoughts about essential oils? Have you used them before? What was/is your experience?


Scott Running Interview At The Running Event 2014

January 27, 2015

Scott Sports has been in the sports industry for years. Most of us know them for their ski poles and goggles. However, they have been innovators in the motocross, cycling, and runnings worlds as well. I got to talk with the legendary trail runner and founder of the White River 50 Mile Endurance RunScott McCoubrey. He gave me a great history of Scott Sports and how they got into the running world.

To learn more about Scott Sports check out the interview from The Running Event below.

Continue Reading…


Sensoria Interview At The Running Event 2014

January 27, 2015

Sensoria is seriously one of the most innovative companies in the running world today. They make smart garments! Thats right smart clothes! They have shirt and sports bra with build in heart rate monitors, and socks that analyze you foot strike and running form!

In my interview with their founder Davide Vigano at The Running Event, we get an inside look at their new smart sock.

PS. Sorry about the sound one of my mics went out and we had to only use one.

Continue Reading…


Sheath Interview At The Running Event 2014

January 27, 2015

Sheath underwear founder and creator, Robbert Patton, took a unique and innovative approach to solve the issue of chaffing and the lack of support in male underwear. While serving overseas he realized that there was a need for improvement in the male undergarment, and Sheath was born. The San Antonio based company got their start on Kickstarter and has been growing ever since!

Check out my interview with Robert from The Running Event 2014.

Continue Reading…