An Update

It has been well over a year since I updated this site, but I have been very busy with several projects.  I mentioned that I had set up a new website called My Athletic Life, and now I am in the process of setting up another.  This one is called An Entrepreneurial Life.  A couple of weeks ago, I set up a different site, but the topic hasn’t resonated.  So, I will focus on a topic I know – what it’s like to be an entrepreneur.

Please check it out.

New Post on Deer Hunting at The Paleo Solution

I know I have been terribly slack about posting about farming/gardening here at Soil to Sustenance – I am still spending most of my time writing for my new site My Athletic Life.  However I have a new post called “My Strategy for Dealing with Deer on the Farm” over at The Paleo Solution.  Enjoy!

New Addition on the Farm

We have a new addition on the farm this afternoon.  Penny gave birth to a healthy baby bull calf (tentatively named Bruno).  What is so amazing to me is that less than three hours after being born, this baby can RUN.  Humans are complete underachievers.

Introduction to Backyard Chickens

Hello everyone.  The work at My Athletic Life is keeping me EXTREMELY busy these days, but I did want to let you know of my guest post at Robb Wolf’s site today “A Flock of Fowl:  Keeping Backyard Chickens.”

Sweet Potato Harvest

Yesterday we harvested our first of four rows of sweet potatoes (about 100 lbs).  These Carolina Ruby sweet potatoes grow exceptionally well in central North Carolina even when we have a dry summer like this year.  We will keep them in the garage (covered and damp) for about 2 weeks to cure, at which point they will be ready to eat or store in the house for up to 6 months.

FYI, today I have a guest post at Robb Wolf’s site called The Grass is Greener, but the Weeds are Taller.  In this post, I outline some of my plans for the farm now that my days are a bit busier with the new website My Athletic Life.  Please take a peek at my guest post as well as the new site if you have time.

Thanks for reading!

A New Entrepreneurial Adventure

Over the past few weeks the frequency of my blogging has definitely taken a hit, but honestly for good reason.  You see, I have been busy working on a new project called My Athletic Life.  It is a website which will bring together content from some of the best writers, bloggers, and subject matter experts in athletic development and provide a community for athletes to share their goals, training plans, and successes.

If this sounds interesting, please check it out.  We will have a steady stream of content that is updated nearly every day.

You will also be able to keep track of us on Facebook and/or follow us on Twitter.

More Validation

Last week I entered another sprint race held by the Carolina Godiva Track Club (this time the 100m vs. the 200m I ran last week).  My goal was to break 15 seconds, and I did so, but barely, coming in at 14.8 seconds.  However, just like my result with 200m, I am thrilled as it is more validation that my sub-60 second 400m goal (sometime mid-to-late next year) is actually possible.

One of the things I like most about the Carolina Godiva Track Club is the diverse nature of the group.  There are men and women of all ages and abilities giving 100% effort each time they race.  My inspiration from last week came from a wonderful 66 year old man, Bobbie Perry.  Mr. Perry had recently competed in the USA Masters Track and Field Championships, taking a bronze medal in the 800m.  Last week he ran the 100m in 14.3 seconds (WOW).

Two Steps Forward

As you may recall, I have set a goal to run a sub-60 second 400m dash before the end of 2012.  Ideally, I would focus most of my training on the track, but my workouts at CrossFit Local have made me painfully aware that I must improve my overall strength and conditioning before I can make the speed gains I need.  Even though I knew this to be true, I wondered if concentrating exclusively on CrossFit was helping, and my curiosity got the best of me.

This past Wednesday evening, I went over to the UNC track to participate in weekly races held by the Carolina Godiva Track Club and entered the 200m dash.  About two months ago I ran a previous personal best of 32.6 seconds, and while I didn’t feel like the race this week was great (I decelerated quickly near the end), I was able to improve my time by 2 full seconds to 30.57. 

For the first time since I started planning/training for a sub-60 second 400m run, I REALLY believe that my chances to achieve my goal are BETTER than 50/50, provided that I continue to put in solid work.

Jailbreak on the Farm

As you can probably guess from the title and the picture, I had a little “incident” with Penny recently.  Last week our family was awakened at midnight by a persistent pounding at the door.  While we don’t live in the middle of nowhere, we do live at the end of a LONG street with only a handful of neighbors; therefore it was quite unusual for someone to be 1) POUNDING ON our door and 2) to be doing so at such a late hour.  Needless to say, we were extremely concerned about who might be at our door.

Turns out it was a member of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.  Our cow Penny, for reasons only known to her, decided that it would be a good evening to push through her fence and go for a stroll.  When I say a stroll, I really mean a 1 mile romp down our road, all the way to a reasonably well traveled 45 MPH road.  Why that far?  I have no idea.

At 12:30am, I drove my truck to the end of our road, parked, and walked an additional ¼ mile to find Penny being tended to by the Sheriff and Animal Control.   After thanking them and apologizing, I lead Penny the entire mile back to the house.  We were extremely fortunate that she wasn’t hurt and didn’t cause any damage.

So I ask, do you think you want to own a cow?

Knee and Shoulder Pain

Almost immediately after starting CrossFit, I became aware of some pain in my left knee and on the outside of my left shoulder.  I don’t believe this pain was the result of specific CrossFit workouts, but more likely my muscles were (and still are) out of balance from a lifetime of being sedentary.  I have been careful to not further aggravate my knee and shoulder; however I realized that both probably needed some attention in order to allow me to exercise in a way that would limit my risk for injury.

About a month ago I found Julie Donnelly, a local sports massage therapist, who happens to be an expert on the type of pain I was having.  In fact she has written several books including The Pain Free Runner and Treat Yourself to Pain-Free Living (available on her website).   It turns out that in both my shoulder and my knee, the problems were originating from other areas.  The analogy she gave me was to imagine pulling on someone’s hair.  They would feel pain in their scalp, but the problem would be where the pulling was originating.

In the case of my knee, the most likely culprit was the psoas muscle (attached to your lower lumbar, inserted through your hip, and attached to your femur).  With a lot of time sitting in front of a computer my psoas muscle was in a contracted state and shortened.  This shortening caused my hips/pelvis to rotate slightly forward which caused a lot of other muscles to be stretched out (hamstrings for example).  Add in some serious exercising (squats and lunges in large numbers) and the long stretched out muscles tightened up even more and began to pull my kneecap slightly out of alignment (causing the pain/irritation). 

The fix:  Trigger point massage on the areas of my left leg that had knotted up and some ongoing stretches for the psoas.  Let me give you fair warning if you have never had trigger point massage therapy.  It isn’t a pleasant, spa-like experience.  Getting a muscle to release out of spasm hurts a lot, but the relief is immediate.

The shoulder problem is also likely the result of chronic use of the computer (think rounding of the shoulders and hunching forward) but slightly more complicated.  Basically I need to carefully build up strength in the shoulder and avoid moving into any range of motion that generates significant pain. 

Undoing a lifetime of bad habits will take more than a few well intentioned weeks in the gym.