Subscribe to It Has Nothing to Do with Age by Email Follow Tusk95664 on Twitter It Has Nothing to Do with Age: June 2012
It Has Nothing To Do With Age provides self-help principles. The inspirational stories give concrete illustrations of overcoming many of life's challenges. Difficulties pertaining to depression, grief, divorce, and death are presented and worked through by the participants. Physical impairments, injuries, overcoming issues with weight, alcohol, and nicotine are also dealt with and resolved by the athletes.

This book provides a model on how to overcome some of the difficulties that confront all of us . Further, this read sheds a beacon of light on preventive measures for good physical and mental health. Research demonstrates that exercise is an important component in treating such ailments and debilitating illness such as depression, stroke, heart disease, brain or cognitive malfunction,and Alzheimer's disease.

I suggest that proper exercise can be used as a preventive measure for psychological, cognitive, and physical health as well. Follow my prescription and lead a better, more fulfilling, and healthier life.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Eight( 8) Principles for Finding the Fountain of Youth-Part 15

It is now 2002, and I was “ready” for the Western states 100. My Western states 100 journey began on June 29, 2002, at Squaw Valley.  On that Saturday morning I was standing, in the front with about 450 other nervous, excited, loud, hyper runners for the 5 AM start.  A rock- salt shotgun blast and we are off and I quickly began the first of many and I mean many climbs.  Initially, the first climb was going over one of the ski runs.  I remembered the cold temperature, my nervousness, snow on the ground, and yes the mosquitoes as I traversed and began this part of the run. There were hungry mosquitoes because of the wet, melting snow.  After running which seemed like toward the sky, I reached and passed Emigrant Pass and Watson’s Monument at approximately 9000 linear feet above sea level. So far so good and the views were awesome and breathtaking. I had pristine Lake Tahoe behind me and more mountains in front. I eventually reached the second checkpoint or aid station referred to as Lyon Ridge some 11.5 miles into the run, at 6500 feet above sea level and briefly talked, to my friend and aid captain Chuck Gabri. A reason for not staying too long at an aid station is because of the time limits. I didn’t want to be pulled by race management. I wanted to complete this historic event, and remain comfortably ahead of the time restraints.
To be continued:

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Eight (8) Principles for Finding the Fountain of Youth-Part 14

A concrete conscious example of the brain and motor connection was best illustrated when a Ms. Hutchinson, a paralyzed stroke patient, was able to use her thoughts (by imaging a movement) to direct and command her robotic arm. She had an implanted electrode device a Brain Gate, if you will, which is called an “a neural interface system.” This system detects electrical signals in the brain and uses them to control an external device- in other words, her robotic arm. With this device, she was able to clutch her fingers around a coffee cup and bring it to her lips. This is certainly a terrific, medical, neurological and technical advance .Keep this mind-body power connection in mind as I continue my story. However, do not forget to look for the many “games” that are coming out that utilize mind control. Get your headset now so you can be the first one on your block.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Eight (8) Principles for Finding the Fountain of Youth- Part 13 , Western Sates100 and a Run for Keys

"The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything."– William Connor Magee

Eight (8) Principles for Finding the Fountain of Youth-Part 13

The power of the mind was further exemplified in the study that measured gut peptide (ghrelin). Ghrelin levels fall, in proportion to calories consumed. It is this chemical process that essentially communicates with your brain and gives the signal that you are no longer hungry and you do not need to search out food. Some patients were told that a milkshake had 620 calories and that were enough calories (feeling full) meaning your gut peptide level would fall. Therefore, you were full, and wouldn’t need to search out more food. The other patients were told that their milkshake had 120 calories (not full). What do you think happened to their peptide levels? Their gut peptide levels rose. They thought they needed more calories or food. As a result, they searched for more food.

In a study with Parkinson’s disease patients, the experimenters used real medication and a placebo. The researchers found that the placebo actually improved the patients Parkinson disease symptoms, just like the real medication did. Even with the placebo, the brain actually produced greater amounts of dopamine-the neurotransmitter known to be useful in treating the disease.

To be continued:

What an exciting weekend. The Western States 100 started early Saturday morning. The weather even with the cold temperature and rain turned out well for the runners. New records were set by Timothy Olson, age 28 at 14:46:44 and Ellie Greenwood, age 33 at 16:47:19. Congratulations go to them. Our friend Meghan Arbogast, age 51 was the seventh woman overall. Congratulations to her as well.

On Sunday, Secretariat and I drove to Todd Valley. We ran from White Oak Flat to Ford’s Bar to search for his car keys. He lost his keys, on the day when Carrie, Secretariat, and I ran the middle day of the Western States training run that went from Forest Hill to White Oak Flat. Secretariat realized he lost his keys after some 16 miles into that run. The decision , that day was to return to Forest Hill and call his wife Debbie so she could bring extra keys so we could drive his truck back. She did that, and we made it home safely. Guess what? Today was a good day as Secretariat found his lost keys? At Ford’s Bar he went directly to the correct bushes and there they were. What a memory. Today’s up and back run was a shade less than 17 miles. We were both tired, especially after the last 3 mile climb to White Oak Flat. As Fitzgerald would say” suffering is good.” We did not die, and will live to run another day.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Eight (8) Principles for Finding the Fountain of Youth-Part 12

"Choices are the hinges of destiny."– Pythagoras

Placebo experiments illustrate mind- body nicely. Likely, most of you have heard of research, incorporating placebos. Typically, when testing the efficiency of a drug to combat symptoms, the patient or guinea pig was put into one of three trials. In one trial, a real drug was used with a group of patients, while in the other group of patients; they were given a placebo or an inert sugar pill. The researchers then evaluated the efficiency of the real drug comparing it to the placebo. The manufacturers, of course, hoped that the “real drug” statistically outperformed the placebo. Let us take a look at a few studies.

*In one study, patients with irritable bowel syndrome were given a placebo. They were told that the pill was inert but they were part of a mind- body process experiment. Guess what? Even these placebo patients reported feelings of relief, a reduction in symptoms and an improved quality of life. How was that for mind power?

In another study, hotel room attendants were told, by the experimenters, that their jobs provided a good workout. These subjects not only reduced their weight, but reduced their blood pressure and body fat as well. Did you believe that? Is that all you need is for someone in a white coat to tell you?

To be continued:

Monday, June 18, 2012

Eight (8) Principles for Finding the Fountain of Youth- Part 11

"I just kept on doing what everyone starts out doing. The real question is, why did other people stop?"– William Stafford

* A word about “expectations “as a motivator which happens to be our* Psychological principle or concept # 5. In the 1970’s, I empirically researched the relationship or cause-effect between expectancy and performance. To oversimplify, I found out about the expectations that 4th grade children had on a particular arithmetic assignment. Some children expected to do well, while other children expected to do poorly on the assignment. Pupils who expected to do well, on this assignment did in fact do well. On the contrary, pupils, who expected to do poorly, did in fact do poorly. The students who expected to do well easily outperformed students, who expected to do poorly on the assignment. Do not discount the power of expectations as it relates to performance.

Consider this quote by Michelangelo: "The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark."
– Michelangelo Buonarroti

Michelangelo, here are my comments about setting your level of aspiration too high, failing and having a string of failures. Too much reinforced failure is not a good thing and can lead to more and more disappointment and interfere with setting realistic goal expectations.

From Secretariat: I fall on the side of Michelangelo. My expectation are always higher then I know I will achieve. How else would you push yourself to improve.

More about the power and the importance of expectations, the mind-body connection and “how” and “what” we think.
To be continued:

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Eight (8) Principles for Finding the Fountain of Youth-Part 10

"No one can really pull you up very high — you lose your grip on the rope. But on your own two feet you can climb mountains."– Louis Brandeis

This historic Western states trail stretches from Salt Lake City, Utah to Sacramento, California and was first used by the Paiute and Washoe Indians and later by the 49ers with their horses and mules.

 Remember, I” reframed” the word “exercise. “ Psychologically, I did not want to think that, day after day, week after week, month after month that I was simply exercising. I thought of the Western states as spiritual, an adventure and as a journey. In other words, it became my quest and my focus. Thank goodness that I was competitive and I was meeting my need to achieve. Also, I had a number of success experiences with my ride and tie exploits. Therefore, I expected to complete this event without any ifs, ands or buts. Being conditioned and having a positive “expectation “became paramount to my success. One quickly learns about the importance of the mind-body relationship. For example, if I was enjoying (feelings) what I was doing, my body felt good. If I was running more and more and perceived improvement that made running, the activity, more enjoyable. The more fit I became, the greater the enjoyment, self-sufficiency and/or mastery. When I was running well, I felt happy and when I felt happy I ran well.

To be continued:

Monday, June 11, 2012

Eight (8) Principles for Finding the Fountain of Youth - Part 9

"I care not what others think of what I do, but I care very much about what I think of what I do! That is character."– Theodore Roosevelt
                                        Frank weighing in at Western States

*I called my friend Linda back and told her about the qualifying event that coming November. She told me that she had entered a marathon on that same date as the Helen Klein 50. I told her to cancel her run so we could do the 50 miler. I also mentioned to her that we could do a training run of about 50 K. the following week. After all, a 50 K. is 31 miles and that only leaves us with 19 miles more? It might be clear to many of you, the defense mechanisms that I used at this point. Anyway, I convinced her to do this training run with me and enter that qualifying 50 mile run in November.

To qualify for the Western States 100, I had to complete the 50 miler within 10 hours, and she had only 9 ½ hours, because she was a lot younger and prettier than I. Even if we made the qualifying time, there was no guarantee of getting selected for this Western states 100. 450 runners are selected in a drawing. One gets in, by being chosen in the lottery. Yes, we were in the company of a lot of “crazy” runners wanting to compete in this running madness.

To make a long story short, we both qualified and both were selected to do the run the following June 29, in 2002. Some of you might say it would take a lot of conditioning or training to get ready for that event. Yes, you are right.

So now I have another goal, a direction, meaning, a reason to focus and a training partner. This means I had to learn and research about proper conditioning. I had to prepare to run 100 miles in one day. The run starts at Squaw Valley, the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics, and finishes in Auburn, California. I had to run day and night in temperatures that could range from 40 degrees Fahrenheit to over 100°F .during these 100 miles. Because you are running up and down the Sierra- Nevada Mountains, there was about 18,000 linear feet of gain and about 23,000 linear feet of loss during the hundred miles. In fact, within the first 4 miles there is a 2,550 feet of vertical climb.

To be continued:

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Eight (8) Principles for Finding the Fountain of Youth- Part 8

"Believe that you can do it, under any circumstances. Because if you believe you can, then you really will. That belief just keeps you searching for the answers, then pretty soon you get it."– Wally "Famous" Amos

* Let’s return to 2001. Well, in 2001, yes, it was the infamous 2001 but it was the end of September not the 11th. It was one very hot evening, I am running on the historic Western states trail, and I encounter, a young attractive ride and tie female friend who told me that we should enter (to be completed in one day) the Western states 100 ultra endurance run in the year 2003. I replied back to her “let me think about it.” However, immediately, after reaching home, I called a couple of knowledgeable Western states friends and got more specific information about that tough, unimaginably difficult race. I must admit that at the time I was not consciously thinking about entering that particular run. My friend’s told me that there was a 50 mile qualifying run coming up the first week in November called the Helen Klein endurance run. For those of you that know the name-yes it is the famous Helen Klein who holds a ton, and I do mean a ton, of women‘s long distance running records. My thinking at the time was why wait to do the WS100 run in 2003. Up to this point, I had run one marathon (26.2) miles, one 50 K. (31) miles, and had four good years of experience running and competing in numerous tough ride and tie events. You might wonder at this juncture, if I was ready for a 100 mile run? I thought something to the effect of “Why not”?

To be continued:

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Lawrence Livermore Lab Lecture

"You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result."– Mahatma Gandhi

 On June 7th, I have been invited to lecture on the subject of health, exercise and inspiration at the prestigious Lawrence Livermore Lab.  I am looking forward to speaking and returning to the Bay Area were both my riding and ride and tie experience began.
I have invited Secretariat and Linda to join me.  Today during our training run, I told Secretariat, that I am going to ask him to talk about the difficulty and/or fun part of his Tevis experience.  Also, I am going to have Linda talk about her crewing experience on the Swanton Pacific 100 mile ride and tie as well.
I moved to the Bay Area about 25 years ago.  There, I began trail riding.  I first did a few NATRC rides and then on my second limited distance endurance ride met Secretariat, Jeff, Curt and Robert members of ride and tie.  From that point on, my life has never been the same.  Thank you ride and tie for introducing me to a fun sport with fun people.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Eight(8) Principles for Finding the Fountain of Youth- Part 7


*The following is a brief description of how I accomplished my running goals. My running improved as I now began to run the hills and my endurance or stamina increased as evidenced by my ability to run longer distances as well. I increased my running mileage, daily, weekly and monthly. I kept a running log and charted my progress. To test my ability, I first entered a half marathon and shortly after a 50 K. trail run. Within a relatively short period of time, I was now able to run or cover the same distance, on the ground, as my horse did, during these ride & tie events. If my horse was able to run 25 or 35 miles during an event, then I wanted to be able to run it as well. Notice, that my concrete goals were measurable and attainable through hard work. And I mean lots of hard work. That meant much perspiring, being hot and tired, being out of breath and at times experiencing a sharp pain in my side. However, I felt good about my running accomplishments-so far so good. My success experiences (achieving running and competitive goals) resulted and facilitated more successful experiences; that also meant I self reinforced positive feelings (intrinsic motivator) associated with all the accomplishments. *Psychological principle or concept # 4- is to seek attainable goals and/or success (completed goals) experiences regardless of age, sex, health etc.
Alright, we humans have been hardwired to survive; we had to fight dangerous predators, run after prey, chase them down, and finally capture and kill them. But that was a long time ago. Why would anyone, let alone a mature psychologist, enter events with grueling physical and mental conditions, in the mountains, that cover 100 miles and are expected to be completed in one day? Think about that question and see if you can come up with an answer or explanation as to my motivation?

To be continued

"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go."– T.S. Eliot

Part 7

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Secretariat, Elemental Running and the Auburn Trail Run

Yesterday, Secretariat, Randall and I entered, a 25 kilometer trail run hosted by Elemental Running and Training that turned out to be over 16 miles in length. The run started at the Overlook in Auburn, and proceeded up the Training Hill, passing Salt Creek, reaching the paved road, proceeding back to the Firehouse in Cool and then returning on the Western states trail to the Overlook.

Secretariat took off, while Randall and I stayed together. From the Overlook to No Hands Bridge was fairly easy, because of the downhill, shade from the trees, and the fairly early morning start. After crossing No Hands Bridge and leaving the aid station we did a short climb until we reached the Training Hill. The Training Hill was over a mile in length and one steep climb. I must admit that I was tired after reaching the top. Then we went to the road crossing and another aid station running on the pavement in the direction of the Fire Station picking up more supplies, before heading back to No Hands Bridge. Barbara an aid station captain told us that some runners got lost and made a wrong turn.

I felt okay, but not great, as I reached the final aid station at No Hands Bridge. The hot temperature increased, and my breathing loud as I was tiring. I left the aid station before Randall; he caught up and told me that the volunteer told him that Secretariat was in second place. That meant he was running a strong race. I struggled, was tired, and ran and walked the last 4+ miles until we reached the finish at the Overlook. Randall was complementary, provided encouragement and was a good running partner.

At the finish, I saw Secretariat, sitting in the shade, smiling. He was the second man to finish and came in fourth overall. He was sitting next to a young looking Helen, who passed him going to the finish. We hung out, chatted, ate and I signed Helen’s book.

Once home, I took couple of ibuprofen, iced my Achilles, drank my smoothie, which consisted of bananas, apples, orange juice, milk, whey protein, ginger, carrots, broccoli, chili powder, blueberries, Chia seeds, and lean Pro matrix. I took a nap and then received an e-mail from Secretariat that had Bob Anderson’s Unjea link. It was then that I finally felt fully refreshed and was without discomfort in my Achilles.

Thank you Secretariat for sending that inspiring e-mail as it put a smile on my face. You ran strong and had a great race. I am thankful that I recovered quickly, and today I plan to do a short run. I am looking forward to seeing Secretariat on Tuesday for our training run.

Ojai Double Metric

Today I did the Ojai double metric ride 128 miles with 8000 ft of elevation gain.  It was especially rewarding to come back to Ojai as it was the first century bike ride I did when embarking on my new journey last June.  I did the reg century with around 4700 ft elevation gain spread out over the 100 miles.  I still remember the sucky hill that comes at mile 85  when you want to be done climbing and thinking it would take all I had to get to the finish.  I had no idea if I would ever do a century ride again, that's how tired I was, but by the end of the week I said ok I will continue with 1 a month till year end as a goal.  Which I completed and exceeded with 2 extra.  
So coming back to see how I felt and doing the hardest option they offered made me see how much stronger I have gotten. I am still on the slower side but at 63 and female also on the older side.  My goal is to complete what I start out to do and improve my pace along with continued training. My success comes from completion and a body that recovers well. 
The route I took took me climbing up hwy 33 to the top of the Los Padres forest and it was well worth all the work. 3000 ft of climbing in about 12 miles straight up.  I started early at 6am and enjoyed the solitude and beauty of the surroundings.  It seemed not many took this option but it was the highlight of the ride.  
Hopefully the roadies that read this will introduce themselves to me on the rides when they see me. You are all an inspiration to me and I love the support from the community.
And yes I remember the yellow jacket and the help you gave me riding at night so I was able to complete the Davis.  Hope to see you at the grand tour if you will be there.
Secretariats sister, penny