Meandering…Purposely Toward The Finish Line Vol 2

Meandering Purposely To The Finish Line Jason Bahamundi Cocodona 250

It’s been nearly two weeks since I posted Volume 1 of the Meandering…Purposely Toward The Finish Line and this felt like the right time to write another blog post as I meander my way to the finish line of Cocodona 250 in May 2021. With 8 months to go before race day things are still very much up in the air with regards to training plans and crew/pacer plans but things are also starting to formulate in my mind about who/what/when/where/how. You may have just said: What about why? The why was decided way back when I pressed register so that question has been answered.

That’s Great, But Did You Tell Us Your Why?

I did not tell you my why when I wrote the first blog post so now is as good a time as any to tell you my why. The first and simplest answer is: Why Not? Why not run 250 miles across the heart of Arizona? Why not test my limits and see how well I do? Why not seek the euphoria of crossing the finish line? Why not seek the despair and brink of failure, for there is where I’ll find my next success?

It’s all of those things and more. I remember when I signed up for my first 50 mile race and thinking: Not a fucking chance I’ll race a 100. I remember registering for my first 100 and finishing that race and thinking: Not a fucking chance I’ll ever do that again. I remember seeing Maria Simone of No Limits Endurance Coaching and my former coach go around Lake Tahoe during Tahoe 200 and thinking: Not a fucking chance I’ll ever race a 200. I remember seeing Sean Nakamura tackle the Grand Slam of 200’s and thinking: Not a fucking chance I’ll ever do that.

Then the competitor in me started saying: Why not you? And I pressed register on the 100 mile race then the next 100 mile race and 8 belt buckles later I am registered for the 250 mile adventure.

It’s competition with myself about finding what’s next. It’s competition with myself about finding the edge of my ability. It’s competition with myself to say: Failure is a possibility, but I won’t fail.

What Are Your Next Steps In This Meandering Plan Of Yours?

My next step is on deciding what the pace/crew team is going to look like. I’ve got a few names that I’ve written down and will be reaching out in the next week or so. Pacing and crewing  a 100 race is a huge ask but that is typically a 1-2 day request. This could be upwards of 5 days of work plus a few days before and after for recreation. This is going to be the biggest request I make and I want to make sure that the team is compatible with me during the down times because hanging out and laughing with me will be easy during the good times. It’s when I want to take a dirt nap, when I want to tell the world to fuck off, when I want to sleep for more than 4 hours that this crew is going to need to know how to manipulate me into getting my ass going again.

If your phone rings and my name shows up, just know that I am asking you because I think you’re the PERFECT fit for me and this adventure but don’t feel obligated to answer right away or having to say yes.

Training Ideas? Have You Formulated Those Yet?

Not completely. Yesterday, during the Team Dirt and Vert StruggleBus Sunday run I decided that I was going to chase a PR on the TD&V New Big Loop Strava segment. I think I decided to do this as a baseline test for my fitness heading into an official training plan. After the run while Jen and Greg and I were chatting we figured that now is the time to include Trail Fartleks into our Sunday run. Jen will be heading to Bandera in January and with the flat and very runable segments there she’ll be working on speed and since I don’t do track workouts this will also be my speed workout for the week.

I am still swimming my way across Lake Tahoe in the #AmazeRaceSwim that I am hosting on Instagram. This is helping me keep my goal of 6,000 yards per week and aid in recovery. I am also still riding my bike and have decided that even when the weather gets cold I’ll put the bike on the trainer and keep that component going as well. Riding my bike will also be a huge benefit for recovery from the runs and addition of strength training to the plan.

Anything Else You Want To Share With Us?

Yes, as a matter of fact there are two things that I want to share with you.

1- I am going to get another Inside Tracker test done. I participated in the study when I went to Western States in 2019 and it was a benefit. It showed me that despite my consumption of mushrooms and spending hours upon hours in the sun that my Vitamin D was still low as well as my iron levels. I have taken a more conscious approach to getting Vitamin D and Iron supplements into my diet, but I am also interested in the other biomarkers since it’s been a year and a whole lot can change.

2- I have become and ambassador for Rbar Energy. I was introduced to the product by Ashley and was invited to join the team. After tasting the first couple of samples I knew that this was the direction I wanted to go in because the taste was fantastic. The ingredient list is minimal (think 3-7 ingredients) and they are plant-based. This weekend, instead of the usual bowl of granola 2 hours before a long day of riding and running, I went with Rbar. On Saturday, I tested out the Cranberry Cashew and on Sunday, I went with Chocolate Peanut Butter. Both were excellent tasting and I was satisfied with my performance on both days. Best part, is that I have a 20% discount code for you to use. Go shopping and use code: JBAHA and save 20%.

Conclusion

This plan is still a work in progress but little pieces are coming together. Like anything else in life, it’s the little things that amount to big things. Right now, my stress and anxiety is about the pacing/crewing component of this process and I have a solid idea of how I want this to unfold and soon that will be behind me and the focus can turn to the core, balance, stretching, strength, run, ride, swim planning and executing.

So, until the next time I post……Thank you for reading and please do not hesitate to ask me questions because they will help me formulate my plan.

Happy Trail Running….Find Your Dirt and Your Vert

Plantmade Protein Review – Jason Bahamundi

Plantmade Protein Powder For People Of Color

A couple of weeks ago on Instagram, the company Plantmade reached out to me to ask if I would be willing to test out their product. After checking out the site, I decided that I would give it a go. As with all of my reviews, I am going to be 100% honest and not hide anything from those of you reading and interested in making a purchase.

What Was The First Thing You Noticed On The Plantmade Website?

Their mission jumped out at me:

We are on a mission to redefine the relationship between people of color and the world of health & wellness. By leveraging a unique blend of CPG, Community, a Multi-Media Channel, & Unique Experiences, we seek to develop a safe space where people of color can heal, innovate, and discover true happiness.  

Our story is still being written…Thank you for being a part of it!

As a Puerto Rican endurance athlete who is focused on his health and wellness, that first sentence jumped off the page at me. I’ve mentioned it before in different places, but when I look at trail running magazines/websites, triathlon magazines/websites or stand at the starting line of a race I don’t see a lot of people like me. The two times I saw that the athletes around me, resembled my family and I, was when I was racing Ironman 70.3 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Having a product that was geared toward people of color made me take notice.

Ironman 70.3 Puerto Rico Triathlon Jason Bahamundi
I Love This Race Course And The Hospitality

Cut To The Chase……Was It Good?

The short and simple answer is yes. When I first opened the canister I could smell the vanilla. It had such a powerful and flowery punch that my hopes for it tasting great went straight up.

As background for my consumption of protein powders, you should know that I drink two smoothies made with Vega Sport Premium Protein per day as well as a rest and recovery shake, also made by Vega, about 30 minutes before bed, so I am no stranger to protein powders.

My first hope was that it wouldn’t be chalky and that fear subsided the moment I scooped out the first portion. I noticed that the powder itself was thin and I knew that the Vitamix would really blend it up well. After consuming that first shake, I was no longer scared that I’d be drinking the chalk tray from an elementary school.

So, we’ve got taste and smell going for us. We’ve got the lack of chalky-ness going for us, so what else would I want in a protein powder? The amount of calories and protein would be the next hurdle for me. One scoop of Plantmade has 120 calories and 21g of protein. We can check that box off as well. This is an excellent choice for protein powders.

You’ve Given Lots Of Praise, But What’s The Downside?

With my typical level of activity and intensity, I am consuming approximately 76g to 130g of protein per day. This is about 1.2g-2.0g per kg of body weight, and is what is approximated for a person as active as I am. With Vega and my normal diet, I am hitting that number regularly. With Plantmade, I’d probably have to go to a third shake which I am not ready or willing to do.

That being said, I can see myself adding the Vanilla flavored Plantmade to the Peanut Butter, Mocha or Berry Vega to enhance the flavor and still giving me the amount of protein that my body needs to function and repair itself.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a plant based protein powder that has excellent taste, blends well and provides and adequate amount of protein then click the link at the top of this review and make a purchase.

Plantmade Protein Powder For People Of Color

 

 

Meandering…Purposely Toward The Finish Line Vol 1

Meandering Purposely To The Finish Line Jason Bahamundi Cocodona 250

When I registered for the Aravaipa Racing Cocodona 250, I thought about how I want to remember this race/event. It would be easy to post pics to Instagram and talk about it on Twitter, but that didn’t seem like enough. I wanted it to be more than just that. I wanted to be able to reflect on the journey whenever I wanted and smile, laugh, cry or all three at the same time. Back in the day, I used to blog on the Cook Train Eat Race site but closed that down because blogging became more work than I wanted. Now, I sit here thinking about chronicling this journey through blogging and it feels right.

I won’t be posting any sort of training specific workouts, unless it fits into a bigger narrative for the week, month, goal. That means, you will not see: Ran 5 miles at XX:XX/mi pace and it felt shitty. What you will see is, ran 35 miles this week and the entire time I envisioned how fucking cold it’s going to be in the mountains when we get closer to Flagstaff and trying to make sure that my mind is prepared for that……or something similar.

With that brief intro into what this space is going to be used for, let’s dive in a bit.

Why this title for this series?

This was something I thought of on my drive to the Team Dirt and Vert #StruggleBus Sunday run and it made total sense. This is an endeavor that has no precedent for me, similar to the journey I embarked on when I started training for my first 100 mile race. I look back at that training plan and shake my head over the ‘mistakes’ I made and how different a 100 mile training plan for me looks today. I can converse with Maria about how she tackled the Tahoe 200, but what she did will be different from what I am going to be doing, thus I’ll be meandering….with a purpose toward the finish line.

Have you developed a goal for yourself?

That’s a very good question and the answer is yes. If you’ve communicated with me about racing then you know I race by the mantra: #AllGas #NoBrakes so I will put what seems to be an out of reach goal and then go for it. I’ll fail (A LOT) and that’s ok because it’s all a learning process, but for this race…..how do you develop a goal? I shirked and said to myself:

  • Running 100 miles can take 24 hours.
  • Sleep for 4 hours.
  • Running another 100 miles can take 28 hours.
  • Sleep for 4 hours.
  • Running 50 miles can take 12 hours
  • Total: 72 Hours

Is any of this feasible? Of course. Is any of this realistic? Of course. Can this blow up in my face? Of course.

And that is the beauty of this GOAL. Who the fuck knows what’s going to happen?

BTW – Jen and Greg laughed at me via text when I mentioned this. BUT, I will let it be known that while running on Sunday September 20th….Greg asked me about nutrition and low carb / high fat diet for prep for the race BECAUSE we will need to be dependent on energy sources for those THREE DAYS. I believe he’s on board the: Fuck It, let’s try to finish in 3 days train…..ALL ABOARD!!!

How are you going to lay out your training plan?

Another very good question and one I will shrug my shoulders at for right now. For me, a typical 100 mile or Ironman training plan is 16 weeks with 4 cycles of 4 weeks each. This is unlike anything I’ve ever trained for so I am going to go with…..It won’t be 16 weeks. This is why I am starting on October 4th with a meandering….with a purpose training plan. For October, I am going to be working on strength because I believe that the person that is the strongest (not fastest) on Day 3 is the one that will finish the fastest. Squats, Deadlifts, Lunges, KettleBell Swings, etc. Focusing on leg strength which means a little less running. I’ll still ride and swim as those will be great ways to improve fitness without the stress of banging on the road or trail running.

After that first month, I’ll re-evaluate where I’m at and make changes for November but won’t know that until I get closer which means…..you’ll have to keep coming back for updates!

Nutrition and Hydration. What are you going to be doing for nutrition/hydration?

Testing. It’s that simple. During a 100 mile race, my desire to eat an Oreo at mile 18 will be replaced with a desire to eat pickles at mile 35. At some point, eating will sound like a terrible idea and I’ll turn to liquid nutrition. I believe that in order to get through this race I’ll be eating and drinking all sorts of different items which is an indication that I’ll have to test, over and over and over.

My current staples, will be there and those are:

  • Skratch Labs Hydration Powder (preferably Lemon-Lime and Fruit Punch)
  • Floyd’s of Leadville Hydration, CBD gems and Recovery Bars
  • Spring Energy Gels
  • OralIV Hydration
  • Vega Sport Premium Protein and Recovery

Mints will be a part of this process, as will simple carbs like Oreos and other candy but there will have to be very tired night runs to test out different forms of nutrition and hydration to see what is an absolute no-go and what is a must have just in case.

Conclusion

I am not sure what lies ahead of me over the next 8 months but what I do know is that I am going to have a blast figuring this out. Experimenting with different forms of training and diet (maybe #BedBread makes it’s way back into my life?) and gear and who knows what else along the way. This is going to be a journey unlike anything else I’ve ever done and I am thrilled to have Greg going through it as well as a handful of other DFW runners. In addition to that, I may have a guest to provide guidance and critique and high-fives and go get ’ems along the way so you’ll definitely not want to miss out on this Meandering…Purposely To The Finish Line series.

If you’ve got questions, or if there is a topic that you want me to address along the way don’t hesitate to contact me ([email protected])

Until the next post……Happy Trail Running.

Wahl Deep-Tissue Percussion Therapeutic Massager Product Review – Jason Bahamundi

Deep-Tissue Percussion Therapeutic Massager Product Review Jason Bahamundi

Back in July, I was contacted by Wahl Wellness and Sport on Instagram and was asked if I would test out their product and provide a review. It was my pleasure to test out their product and in my typical fashion, it takes me about a month to use a product and test it out and ensure that the review I write is from having used the product multiple times and not just once and the exclaim that it’s the greatest ever or the worst ever.

The timing of the shipment could not have been better as it showed up at the end of July / beginning of August and was just about the time that I was over the idea of running the Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee. For those of you that are unfamiliar, this virtual race was 630+ miles over the course of 4 months. At the time I was duped into registering by Susan Lacke I figured that running 150 miles per month (35-ish miles per week) was right in line with my current volume. What I didn’t take notice of was that I would mentally decide I’d had enough and want to get it over with. August became the month where I said, Fuck It and let’s get this thing over with as quickly as possible.

I went from running 35 miles per week to the following volume:

  • August 3-9: 46.4
  • August 10-16: 50.4
  • August 17-23: 53.8
  • August 24-30: 51.6

I was clearly looking to get this over with and get it over with quickly. As you can imagine, that type of volume is going to provide an opportunity for sore muscles, sore feet, sore ankles and just overall soreness. The Wahl Deep-Tissue Percussion Therapeutic Massager came in handy during that time. Here are my thoughts in the most simplest terms:

  • Pro: It works
  • Con: It has a cord

The model that they sent me comes with 4 attachments and I used each of them for specific reasons:

  • Flat Disc Head: I used this on my IT bands and Quads
  • Four-Finger Flex Head: I used this around my ankles and achilles
  • Acupoint Head: I used this on my calf
  • Deep Muscle Head: I used this on my calf, hamstrings and bottoms of my feet

I have used various TheraGuns in the past and the Wahl Massager can compete with them in terms of effectiveness. The massager does the things it was intended to do and having run 225 miles in August without any issues, I don’t need more proof to say it works. The various options come in handy when I was focused on various parts of my legs. I will warn you to be careful with the acupoint head as too much of a good thing can be ‘detrimental.’

Last weekend, I rode my bike on Friday and I suffered calf cramps from dehydration. I could feel muscle soreness in them on Saturday after riding 65+ miles (yes, I was that dehydrated that it caused the cramps to be that severe) and wanted to attack the problem quickly. The deep muscle head didn’t feel like it was getting the job done so I switched to the acupoint. I was pressing hard and using the various speeds of the massager for about 30 – 45 minutes. The next day on Sunday I could feel where I was applying the pressure and while not debilitating, it was noticeable. I ran with our usual Sunday StruggleBus crew and didn’t feel anything. I ran again on Monday and didn’t notice any soreness at all.

The one downside to the model that I received is that it has to be plugged in. This isn’t a huge problem because you should be sedentary while massaging your legs, but if I wanted to be in a different room, I’d have to unplug and then plug in a spot where I had room to lay down or a chair. Again, this is an inconvenience and nothing more. After all, the cord is 9 feet long. If the cord is a deal breaker for you, don’t worry they do have one that is cordless.

This month, during the #BahasECC swim challenge I will be swimming the equivalent of the English Channel or 21 miles so I’ll be testing out the massager on my back, neck, shoulder and arms. An update to this review will be posted after that challenge is complete.

 

Hoka One One Clifton Edge Review – Jason Bahamundi

Hoka One One Clifton Edge Shoe Review Jason Bahamundi

I have a handful of products to review in the upcoming weeks and I am going to start with the Hoka One One Clifton Edge and later this week I’ll review the Hoka One One Rincon and Rincon 2.

Let’s set the stage for this review and give you some background on me:

  • I’ve been running, exclusively, in the Hoka brand since the beginning. I’ve run in the Bondi B, Clayton, Clifton 1 and 2, Rapa Nui, Tracer, Mafate, Stinson road shoes as well as the SpeedGoat, Challenger ATR, Speed Instinct and Torrent trail shoes.
  • I am flat-footed and I heel strike.
  • I give shoes about 50 miles of usage to prove themselves before giving up on them.
  • I run between 1,500 and 1,700 miles per year and probably evenly between road and trail.

Here is the description of the Clifton Edge on the Hoka website:

The Clifton Edge is designed to help you feel like you can run forever. With a combination of responsive cushion and our softest, lightest foam yet, it features a snappy ride and unique heel geometry designed to provide a smooth impact and gliding sensation. Clifton Edge is a culmination of all our innovation to date. Step into the future.

 

FEATURES
  • Embossed TPU yarn delivers a premium finish with targeted support in the forefoot and eyerow
  • Padded collar delivers enhanced comfort at the ankle
  • New vertical pull tab for easy entry
  • Early-stage Meta-Rocker allows for a responsive ride
  • New high-resiliency foam offers a lightweight, springy take on signature HOKA cushioning and ride
  • Extended heel creates a softer landing and smoother transition from heel to toe
  • Rubberized EVA outsole delivers lightweight, wraparound midsole support with a snappy feel
Hoka One One Clifton Edge Shoe Review Jason Bahamundi Team Dirt and Vert
Do these shoes make my ankle look skinny?

Hoka One One Clifton Edge Review – Jason Bahamundi

Reading the features above, the first three bullet points are spot on. I noticed the upper was comfortable, the padded collar felt good and they were certainly easy to put on. I also took notice of the toebox feeling a bit roomier than most other Hoka models which was a nice surprise. That being said, the comfort on my foot was different from the comfort for my foot.

As I mentioned, I’ve been running in a Hoka shoe for years so I am no stranger to their models but this one didn’t feel right from the first few steps. Having just run almost 200 miles in the Rincon 1, I was expecting something similar but I was wrong.

The shoe felt very stiff on my feet. Every step felt like a 2×4 hitting the ground and then just rolling over to slap the pavement. Figuring that this was just the first few miles I decided to give them a shot and do my review after 50 miles which is what I would typically do. Each run felt the same with the feeling of my feet slapping the pavement. The only times I didn’t feel that was when I would focus on running faster  but that didn’t mean the impact wasn’t occurring.

After the first test run, my feet were OK, not great. After the 2nd run in them, my feet felt tender and sore. Then I ran a third time and I knew that something was not right.

At that point, I had put 15 miles into the shoe and after that last run with them I decided they weren’t the shoe for me. My feet hurt as did my ankles. This issue, even when the Clayton was getting scrutinized, never happened to me. I was in dull pain for nearly three days after my last run and I decided to exchange them for the Clifton 7.

The day after the last run in the Edge, I ran in the Rincon 2 and the ride was smooth despite feeling the dull pain in my feet from the day before. Having run over 1,000 miles in various Clifton models, I fully expected to not have any issues with this shoe but that just wasn’t the case. I wanted to like these and would have continued in them if not for the pain in my feet. That was the deal breaker as running shouldn’t be painful, at least not from your shoes.

Because I am only one person, I wanted to post the video review from Running Warehouse and provide you with additional reviews of the shoe. I’d also encourage you to read Hollie’s review of the Clifton Edge and then make the determination for yourself.

Also, before you buy or give up on them keep in mind what I mentioned earlier which is that I am flat-footed and heel strike when I run. If you have arches and are a mid-foot striker, maybe these shoes will not impact you the way they did for me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baha’s Recipes – Argentine Choripán with Chimichurri

French Bread Loaves Sandiwch

Time for the second installment of Baha’s Recipes and this time the inspiration came from the Netflix show Street Food: Latin America. The specific episode featured various chefs cooking their respective street food in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This particular dish spoke to me because it had few ingredients and could be made quickly and easily but was bursting with flavor. If you read the first recipe featuring Stir Air-Fried Tofu then you’ll know that as much as I enjoy cooking, I don’t want to be in the kitchen for hours.

Getting up at 5am to run and then working all day means that when I get home the meal has to be easy to make and flavorful. This Argentine choripán is exactly that.

Ingredients:

  • Chorizo. I use Field Roast Mexican Chipotle sausage, but use your favorite chorizo.
  • Parsley (Bunch)
  • Garlic (3 cloves – more if you’re like me and love garlic)
  • 1 resno Chili Pepper (or Serrano or Habanero or any chili pepper you truly love)
  • Olive oil – 1/2 cup
  • Sun-Dried Tomatoes (optional)
  • Crusty Bread (sliced down the side but keeping together)

Instructions:

  1. Slice chorizo in half (mariposa or butterfly style is my preference.) Can be cooked whole if you prefer that.
  2. Grill chorizo until fully cooked through.
  3. While chorizo is cooking, slice the pepper and add to mixing bowl.
  4. Chop parsley and garlic then add to mixing bowl with the pepper.
  5. Add salt and pepper to the bowl along with the olive oil. Mix to combine. Taste and adjust salt/pepper.
  6. Toast bread on grill, over open flame, leave alone.
  7. Place chorizo on the bread and then top with the chimicurri sauce and tomatoes

Prep Time: 5-10 Minutes (Basically this is all for pressing the tofu. Slicing mushrooms and fresno chili peppers takes 2 minutes)

Cook Time: 5-10 Minutes

Eating Time: How quickly can you unlock your jaw?

OH: Don’t forget to have plenty of napkins as the chimichurri and oil from chorizo will run down your hand. My mouth is watering just thinking of that.

OH-OH: You’re going to end up with extra chimicurri sauce so be sure to put it into an airtight container and refrigerate. You’ll be able to use it for other spicy sandwiches or eat it by the spoonful.

 

Sanwiches Argentine Choripan Chimichurri
Sink your teeth into this sandiwch and you’ll be asking me where my food truck is

 

Baha’s Recipes – Stir Air-Fried Tofu

Team Dirt and Vert Jason Bahamundi Recipe

On Instagram, I got a request from Andrea Brusuelas to post recipes. It has been years since I posted recipes on the Cook Train Eat Race blog and wasn’t sure I wanted to go down that path again. It is time consuming, gotta remember to take a number of photos as you prep, final product, writing quantities down, etc. Then I thought about it some more and said to myself: Yeah, let’s do the recipe thing again but with rules to them.

So, here are my rules for posting recipes to this site from this point forward (I reserve the right to add more rules as I see fit.)

  1. I am not a food blogger. If you really want a food blogger with all the pics and a well thought out post then go to the search bar and look for that. You won’t find it here.
  2. You can ask me for replacement ingredients and I may know some, but otherwise I’ll do what you will do and go to Google OR you can go here too.
  3. Measurement may or may not be precise. For example, I may write: Shake the bottle 6 or 7 times or I may write: 1T of garlic powder.
  4. It it comes out tasting like shit, then use the phone your on and call for pizza. That’s what I would do.
  5. No, I don’t have a picture studio in my house so sometimes the pictures will be blurry. Deal with it!!!

As I said, I’ll add more rules as I go along. And yes, I am going to try to make you laugh throughout. If you ask me for a replacement for chickpeas, I am going to suggest garbanzo beans. We Good?

Background on my cooking:

  • I love being in the kitchen but I don’t want to spend all day in there. This is why you’ll not see risotto in the recipes. I love it, but starting to make risotto at 6pm isn’t going to happen
  • I make vegetarian / vegan dishes.
  • I dislike (really hate) Ketchup.
  • I use my air-fryer A LOT

Crispy and creamy tofu is one of my favorite foods. It’s quick and simple to make. Add veggies and rice or soba noodles and serve. This is my type of meal and this specific meal is what sparked Andrea to request that I post recipes.

Ingredients:

  • Tofu (duh!) 1 block that has been pressed and then sliced into cubes
  • Tamari Sauce – I’ll say 1/2 cup but I probably shook the bottle 15-20 times
  • Sesame Seed Oil – count to 2 and stop pouring. This is a strong flavor so test it out before pouring in.
  • Rice Vinegar – 1/4 cup? I shook the bottle 4-5 times.
  • Rice (duh!) – I used Tastybite Garlic Brown Rice but cooking rice from scratch and storing in the fridge isn’t difficult to do but read bullet point 1 on my background on cooking.
  • Cremini Mushrooms – I used 8 and sliced them
  • Fresno Chili Peppers – 1 medium sized pepper (sliced)
  • Taylor Farms Teriyaki Stir Fry Kit – I used the entire package but throw away the seasoning pouch. Not necessary when you’ve already made the marinade.
  • Fix Lemongrass Sriracha Hot Sauce (per your taste buds, but this stuff if AWESOME so use it!)

Instructions:

  1. Have air-fryer ready to go for 400* and 15 minutes
  2. In a bowl, combine the tamari sauce, sesame seed oil and rice vinegar.
  3. Place the cubed tofu into the bowl and allow to marinate for ~30 seconds and into the air-fryer. Once all the tofu has been marinated and in the air-fryer. TURN IT ON!!!! Save the marinade.
  4. In a pan, add oil over medium heat. I use olive oil and it’s a few splashes (probably should have put that in the ingredients above!!)
  5. Allow the oil to get hot and then add the mushrooms first. I like my mushrooms slightly crispy so I want them to cook first and for the longest.
  6. Pan toss the mushrooms and when you see them starting to get brown then add in the teriayaki stir fry kit. Season with salt and pepper to your taste.
  7. As the vegetables begin to wilt a bit add in the fresno chili peppers. I like them vibrant and to have texture so I add them in last.
  8. Pour in the marinade that you saved. You did save it right? It is right there in instruction #2.
  9. Reduce the heat to low and allow the vegetables to cook in the marinade for 5 minutes. By this time the tofu should be brown and somewhat crispy on the edges.
  10. Add the tofu to the pan and cook for another 5-10 minutes and toss frequently.
  11. Put rice package in the microwave and ‘cook’ for 90 seconds.
  12. Take package out of microwave. It is going to be really fucking hot so be careful. Spoon 1/2 package onto one plate/bowl and the other 1/2 into another. Oh yeah, this recipe serves two.
  13. Place 1/2 of the veggie/tofu combo from the pan on top of the rice
  14. Serve and before eating use an insane amount of Fix Hot Sauce. Your mouth should tingle and you should be questioning your life’s choices by now!

Prep Time: 30 Minutes (Basically this is all for pressing the tofu. Slicing mushrooms and fresno chili peppers takes 2 minutes)

Cook Time: 20 Minutes

Eating Time: 5 Minutes (Dare you to beat my record!)

Team Dirt and Vert Recipes Jason Bahamundi Food
Eat Up!

 

Black Canyon 100k Race Report

Black Canyon 100k Race Report Jason Bahamundi

This Black Canyon 100k race report is about 6 months too late but hey, what else have you got going on right now? Plus, with the 2021 version coming up sooner than you might expect this is the perfect time to read this race report.

Background:

In December 2018, my name was pulled out of the Western States lottery barrel and I was going to race WSER in 2019. Knowing that I would have the lottery ticket for the 2020 WSER lottery from the 2019 finish I decided that I was not going to race Rocky Raccoon 100. I had raced that even 5 times and was looking for something else to race that had a bit more elevation (or more challenging elevation) and so the search for the 2020 qualifying event was on.

A bunch of athletes from DFW settled on Black Canyon 100k and then the strategizing and training started.

Training and Goal Setting:

After looking at the elevation map and seeing that the total elevation climbing was approximately 6,000 feet I went to my race results for Bandera 100k to compare the elevation in that race. As it turns out the elevation profiles are very similar. In 2015, I finished Bandera in 12:52 but that year was a muddy mess and I figured that with better nutrition / hydration practices and experience running trails that I could break 12 hours on the course.

I chatted with Greg about this goal and we agreed it was doable. We set the goal, then built our training plans to achieve that goal.

Race Day Execution:

Greg and I tend to be trail running nerds and want to know what we need to do to accomplish our time goals. We will have splits for getting to the various aid stations and different outcomes but for this race, we went with the laminated card that only showed what we needed to do to get to 12 hours.

Of course, when the split chart came out and the pace for the first 20 miles was 8:50/mi to keep us on pace I got nervous. Despite the course showing that it was flat to downhill for those first 20 miles, keeping that sub-9 pace for 20 miles on trails wasn’t going to be easy.

If you don’t know about Black Canyon, understand that it starts with a loop around the track before heading out toward the trail. If you don’t execute this well, you can end up blowing up later in the race and/or be stuck in a traffic jam once it gets to single track.

Greg and I decided to start together and as is our customary plan for racing together, if somebody isn’t feeling it the other person is not obligated to stay behind. We took our loop around the track and hit the road toward the trail. We saw friends along the way and smiled and laughed and were given a lot of positive support.

After about 4 miles, Greg had to stop to use the ‘restroom’ and I just kept going along. I didn’t expect us to be separated so early but we had our goals that we needed to achieve. I love racing and running in Arizona and the landscape and trail did not disappoint. The sun was rising and the crisp air felt great. The pace I need to keep, felt really easy. I made sure to stay on top of nutrition and hydration from the get go. I planned on drinking 2-3 flasks (40-60oz per hour) and taking in 1 Spring Energy per hour. I also had Skratch Labs chews on me in case I needed a calorie boost.

The race execution was going great. I was feeling good and was looking forward to seeing familiar faces at the Bumble Bee Ranch aid station which is at mile 19.4. The few miles prior to that were awesome as I was running with 4-5 other athletes and we were cruising through the course. When I ambled into the aid station I saw Amy Clark who was part of our posse at the race. I asked her where Karen was and she didn’t know so I got the necessities out of my drop bag and moved on ready to keep the progress that had been established.

The next 5 mile stretch to Gloriana Mine at me up as my pace dropped by nearly 2 minutes per mile. It was uphill but it just felt harder than it should have and I had the thought that I did go out to hard. I took a bit of time at this aid station to refill, drink, and refill again before heading on to the Soap Creek aid station at mile 31.2. The benefit of this stretch was that it was 7 miles and mostly downhill which I felt could help get me back on track.

Getting to this aid station was harder than the thoughts in my head allowed me to believe it would be. I remember looking at my watch at the marathon distance and reflecting on Ali’s words that she ran a 4 hour marathon here a few years prior and then blew up. I had hit the marathon distance faster than she ran it and the doubt started creeping in.

I started to leave Soap Creek and decided to take a moment to drink the entire flask and refill before heading out toward Black Canyon City. As I turned to head back, I saw Greg coming in and before I knew it he was heading out and I thought: Oh, we are going to race that way!!! Reality is that we both know the rules for racing together and I was happy to see him running strong.

Black Canyon City aid station comes up next and I felt good heading in. I was so surprised to see Michelle because she had previously told us she wouldn’t be able to make it. Seeing her smiling face and then Karen’s was a huge uplifting moment.

I asked how Greg was doing and they said he was doing ok. In the next breathe they said that Greg’s direction to me was: Hurry up and catch up. I made my way through that aid station as quickly as possible and headed out to see if catching Greg could actually be done. I felt really strong leaving that aid station despite the climbing immediately out of the aid station and then a couple of miles later.

I finally saw Greg during one of the switchback sections at around mile 42. At that point we looked at the pace chart and how we were moving and felt very good about breaking 12 hours. The weather was still cooperating with us and neither felt exhausted. Having a partner to tackle the last 20-ish miles together made a big difference. I would rattle off the mile splits to Greg and he would rattle off if we were on target or not. We strategized our hiking versus running and the miles seemed to click off rather quickly.

We were moving but not over-exerting ourselves. We pulled into Table Mesa (Mile 50.9) together and saw Karen and Amy again. Taking our drop bags, refilling, chatting, laughing and before we knew it we were off and running to get the last 10 miles in and break 12 hours.

I was starting to feel a bit sluggish and added pickle juice to one of my flasks. The extra sodium would help get me to the finish line, or so I thought. I drank about half of it before we reached Doe Spring aid station. There was only 4 miles to go at that point but I was tired of the pickle juice and poured it out and then added coke to my flask. Pickle Coke is a real deal helper.

Leaving Doe Spring we felt like we had the sub-12 hour goal in the bag but the course is flat at this point and we decided to run and run we did. We went from running 12-13 min/mi to 10-11 min/mi. We were getting close and the sun started to go down and Greg, who was in front, asked: Are you being stubborn like me and not turning on your headlamp? I originally thought yes, but then responded to him and told him I was turning it on. Being this close to breaking 12 hours, I did not want to risk a turned ankle or going off course to derail us.

As you are finishing you can see the lights of Emory Henderson and it seems pretty far off but with every step the lights shine brighter and the sounds of the finish line grow stronger. I remember feeling ecstatic and my legs decided that we couldn’t just skip in but had to run in. We went below 10:00/mi at that point and I yelled: We Fucking Did It! We broke 12 hours.

Setting the goal, Training for the goal, setting the strategy, executing the strategy and coming out ahead was awesome.

The smiles on our faces said it all. The pizza being shoved down our face holes said even more. We reminisced about the race, and waited on the rest of the DFW crew to finish. It was a job well done BUT it also sets the stage for 2021. The goal is to be across the finish line before sunset so we need to get across the finish line between 11 and 11.5 hours. VERY DOABLE.

Hey Aravaipa Racing and Black Canyon 100k – See you in 2021