Wash Your Organic Produce
Published on February 21, 2014 by Tom_K | Views: 255

My wife and I often buy organic produce from either a local co-op or a small shop that allows one-off purchases of bundled organic food items.  These “baskets” of in season organic produce often taste better and last longer than conventional store bought foods.  So, while the cost of the produce is moderately higher, we tend to eat more of the veggies before they go bad, and as a result waste less food.  To be sure, I’m not a big proponent of organic foods, but I certainly like the pesticide free nature of them and their quality.

However, recent studies have shown that while organic food producers (both organic meats and produce) provide only 1 percent of the U.S. food supply, the Center for Disease Control has traced approximately 8 percent of a food borne illnesses from an especially nasty E. Coli to organic foods.  This strain of E. Coli, designated E. Coli 0157.  Now, E. Coli is a common fecal bacterium, living in the digestive tracts of animals, and organic farmers tend to use more animal waste products as fertilizers (instead of chemical nitrate/ammonia based fertilizers).  As a result, there seems to be a correlation to the use of manure as fertilizers on produce.  As a side note, organic beef, chicken, and eggs tend to have lower incidence of these bacteria since farms are often small or free range, and there is less waste contamination with the animals as compared to concentrated animal feed operations (also known as CAFOs).

Leafy spinach might be harboring fecal bacteria


2014 Bluewater Bay Duathlon Images
Published on February 16, 2014 by Tom_K | Views: 251

The 3rd Annual Bluewater Bay Duathlon was held on 22 Feb 2014 at the Bluewater Bay Marina in Niceville, FL, and consisted of a 1 mile run, a 15.5 mile bike ride and wrapped up with a 3.1 mile (5K) run. The course was flat and fast.  Weather was chilly for the start, with clear, blue skies, and lots of sun later.

In all, there were around 120 participants.  We managed to grab around 650+ photos, so there should be several of everyone involved. For ease of use, the images are divided up into three folders, with the 1 mile run and the 3.1 mile run in the same folder.  All images have been reduced in size from the originals to minimize the storage space required, but if you would like the full size images please email me (Tom_K) through the website and I will find the files and e-mail them to you... for free.  Please be sure to provide the exact file names (e.g., filenames look like 314J0094 or DSC-0094).  Keep in mind that we used two cameras to grab all the action, so in each folder there are two sets of images taken at different places but essentially at the same time (the second camera starts about half way through).

Links to the Image Galleries:

Biking

Running

Miscellaneous and Awards

And now, a few of our favorite pics from earlier today:

I believe in free images and want to keep it that way.  However, software, servers, domain registration, camera equipment, and gas driving to events adds up.  So if you like what we do, and would like to help out, it's very much appreciated.


Base Training
Published on January 6, 2014 by Tom_K | Views: 934

If you don’t have an annual training plan, then you’re not training effectively.  You need to have systematic goals, pushing yourself enough to force improvements in endurance and power, but not so much that you tank your entire season by burning all your matches by March.  Sure, you can go out and ride for enjoyment, health, and weight maintenance, but that’s different from training with specific goals in mind and peaking for a specific event or goal (e.g., completing your first century, doing that century in under 5 hours, or actually racing as a Cat V).

So if you're interested in making solid performance gains, then adopting a training plan is a good idea.  Now today's article will only cover the start of an annual training plan.  It all starts with a solid period of "Base Training".  This period typically coincides with the end of the cycling season in late fall and follows a short period of down-time to refresh the mind and minor injuries to heal.  Base would therefore start in December and run two to three months. Training here is focused more on aerobic metabolism, building fat burning mitochondrial in all your muscle's cells, and enhancing the blood, and growing literally miles of capillaries to feed your hungry muscles and transport waste products away to aid in recovery. 

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