Wednesday, September 9, 2009


To borrow from my friend Rebecca, today's 'Sunshine of the day' was finding Muscadine Scuppernongs at the grocery. We ate these ALL the time growing up and I had actually forgotten about them. Man are they delicious.....if you get a chance, try them. Yum

The scuppernong variety is on the left -

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Locker room conversation

Overheard this week while in the gym locker room.

Two older Jewish gentlemen.

Man1: "I don't know how much longer we can take this as a nation."
Man2: "Mmmmm"
Man1: "If we don't make more changes soon then there won't be anything left for our kids and their kids"
Man2: "MmmHmmm"
Man1: "Well at least my parents are still voting and their vote counts up north"
Man2: "Your parents are still alive?"
Man1: "Well they are still voting. They didn't change their registration when the moved down here"
Man2: "How old are they? That's amazing they are still around"
Man1: "Well I didn't say they were still around, I just said they were still know what I mean"
Man2: "Ohhhh I hear ya. I get it"
Man1: "I mean, might as well right? They worked their whole life, their voice deserves to still be heard"
Man2: "I hear ya. You know what, I see nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all"
Man1: "Yea, well we have to do something. I feel good knowing their voice can still be heard. You know they deserve it".

Friday, July 31, 2009

My food train

Erin and I went and saw Food Inc. tonight. I really thought I would have had to wait until video, because obviously there is not enough demand in Jacksonville for this kind of scatological rhetoric (as obviously referenced by the two perturbed couples in front of us that walked out 20 min. into the show)
Thanks to the San Marco Theater , Erin and I were able to enjoy some nachos and a pale ale, while watching. The movie was really well done. Really well produced. Really well executed. It did a good job of putting this entire food crisis that our nation is in, into a obtainable package, without the Michael Moore scare tactics.
The film nicely highlighted the importance of eating organic, supporting local agriculture, being your own advocate, etc etc. It was ushered by the eloquent Michael Pollan (read all his books),
and included interviews by Americas farmers, corn councils, and even the Kevin's Law mom. The one thing that I don't feel like it illustrated was just how difficult it is to live this lifestyle. It hinted at this when during one scene a gentleman commented that he drove 300 miles to get to a farm to purchase chickens that were raised in a truly all natural environment.

The fact is that, it's HARD. Especially in the smaller cities of our nation. It's usually out the way to access these healthy choices. It's expensive, and overwhelming. But it's important, even one step at a time. Here are some resources to help you out. I'm no expert on this, but I love talking about it. If you have questions or even want to argue, please write me. I'd love to chat.

10 Steps you can do now - great resource for finding local CSA's, Farmers Markets, and Co-ops
Slow food - Promotes local food choices and eating in local tradition

Your dollars are what can make a difference. If we demand change every day, with our dollars, with what we put in our stomachs, we can make a difference.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Don't spoil dinner!!

The calorie tracking is going good. I've been spot on since about July 7th.

Until this last Wednesday. I'm not going to label it food poisoning, because the food at Gumbo Ya Ya's was really good. No one else got sick, and some people even had what I ordered. I can say though, without doubt, that my body rejected the seafood gumbo. By midnight, I was orally removing it all. Not pleasant.

This took me out of schedule for about a good 48 hours. No exercise, no calorie counting. Lot's of couch laying. As of yesterday I'm feeling much better. I went to the gym and did a swim workout, which was my first in about 10 months. It was really nice - so much so I'll be incorporating that into my cross training at least once a week for now.

The point of this blog though is that since the sickness I've noticed my inability to consume my normal caloric intake. Erin reminded me that my stomach probably shrunk from the heaving, which I never put together. This new restricted intake has been interesting; I feel full very quickly and am content. It was troubling the first few meals, as I tried to get it all in, but once I realized why, it became a pleasant surprise. Sooo, all this had me thinking of what I'm sure most of us heard growing up. "Don't spoil your dinner". This was often said in the late afternoon while dinner was just starting to be prepared. It's hardwired into me now to not eat within 4 hours of dinner, at least, and then have a BIG meal. This new stomach restriction has made me realize how detrimental this harwired code has been for me and possibly the nation at large!!!

It's ok to eat every few hours. In fact it's good for you, as long as you can contain yourself with regard to portion control. So, I will spend this next week re-wiring myself to try and go with this new intake limitation. Let's see if it sticks or if I slowly ramp back up my calories. It will be hard to get my caloric needs, but I'm up for the challenge.

It's definitely worth pondering though. We will have kids soon, and when we do so, we will be responsible for setting the patterns in their life. That's a big deal. Let's hope all this new found awareness will help our next generation avoid the diet related diseases (obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, etc.).

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Oaty licious pancakes

Over the past 2 weeks I've begun tracking my calorie intake. While a friend was recently in town (Jimmy) he was helping my figure out my Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Mine happens to be around 2270. This means I need to put in 2,270 wholesome calories in order to break even with what my body burns doing daily activity.
If I workout that day, then I add however many calories that workout burned. That would be to stay at my current weight. To lose weight, I eat a little lest, and to gain wait....well you get the picture.
I'm using to do all these calculations. It's pretty interesting to start learning what nutritional and caloric value is in my daily food. I have found myself drastically altering what I am normally eating in order to get in my goals. Which are the following:

Calories: 2400
Carbs: 300
Fat: 53
Protein: 180
Sugar: 53
Fiber: 40

As you can imagine, the fat and sugar are easy to get. The calories and protein however aren't.

I found a recipe this morning for oaty pancakes and here's the recipe. For a healthy pancake alternative, they were pretty darn good.

Dry Ingrdients:
2/3 Cup Old fashioned Oatmeal (not instant)
1/3 Bobs five grain rolled hot cereal
many sprinkles of cinnamon
1 tbsp Baking soda
dash of salt

2 whole eggs
1/2 cup soy milk

Nutritional Content:
Calories: 535
Cabrs: 30
Fat: 18
Protein: 29
Sugar: 5
Fiber: 12

Makes 7 pancakes (1/4 in size each)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Honolulu Marathon 05

This is an oldie but a goodie. I found this on an old site of mine and thought I'd repost it here.

At 2:15 AM my alarm went off on December 11, 2005.

Between my father’s coughing and intermittent snoring my 8pm bedtime the night before didn’t help in yielding any more sleep than if I hadn’t retired at all.

At 3:08AM after a bagel that was cut with the handle-end of my nail clippers and an $8 cup of Columbian coffee from my mini-bar I left my room to catch the elevator (which was warned to take as long as 15 min. to catch because of the flow of people heading downstairs to begin their trek to the starting line)

I met my crew outside the hotel and we all began the 2 mile walk to the starting line. A couple guys walked by me screaming that they were rooting for me, number 8172. They were finishing their last few Marlboro red’s and still battling with the fact that the bars were in reality closed. One Welshman joined us for about ¾ of a mile before asking where we were headed. We told him and he told us, in his thick accent, that that sounded good and he’d join us. He eventually lost his focus…and he wandered down an alley chasing some local “talent”.

We got in line, with another 28,048 people. We staged ourselves in the 3-4 hour anticipated finish line group. We waited. It was warm…humid….sticky. The anticipation was thick and made things stickier. The gun was drowned out by the massive firework display. We began and almost immediately I realized I wouldn’t be able to hit my 10 min/mile pace. There were entirely too many people. My two running buddies let adrenaline take a hold and shot out ahead, ignoring all bodily instincts to slow down. This was the first thing that I learned not to do next time.

By mile 5 I had reached my hotel and my first cheering section. I had completely lost my running group and had come to terms that I would be on my own. It was actually a relief. I didn’t have to keep up with anyone and I didn’t have to keep track of anyone. It was just me and roughly 28,000 people…all running in one direction…all running for different reasons. There were kids, old people, people in costumes, soldiers, gays, straights, Robocop (he was really there), a giraffe (full costume), and a lot….i mean a lot of Asian people (approx. 18,000 of them). Did I mention it was still dark?

It was still dark.

So I kept running. Good, I was at 5 miles and my knee didn’t hurt. Whew. Wow...I’m sweating a lot. Too much…too much for it to still be dark.

Then I met this other guy from AIDS Marathon who trained in LA on Saturday mornings in Griffith Park, just like me. It took me coming to Hawaii to meet him. He lost his group too and his iPod was stuck on a weezer song. “I’d rather it just jammed and turned off….but now I have to listen to “Beverly Hill’s” on repeat for the next 5 hours. Our conversation was interrupted by my Timex Ironman which was letting me know that it had been 6 min and it was time to walk. “See ya”.

Here comes Diamondhead. What we trained every Saturday for. We had to run up this hill or a hill which we were told was similar to this one. Luckily the day before I had beaten the hill with a training run which quickly de-mystified any eerie thoughts we had. I was prepared and I charged it. I dominated it. I was passing people. Things were good.

I got to the top and began my decent…this was only the beginning. The sun was just coming up. This was still the early part. My next stage I was looking forward too was my second large cheering section. It happens at mile 11. I hear it coming. 100 AIDS marathon “cheerleaders” were under an expressway and their chants and shouts seemed to reverberate through my body. It made me stronger and I was 11 miles into the race. This was great. I saw mom and dad…I saw my coach and my friends. Nice.

What I didn’t prepare for was to come. I began the trek through Aina Haina. It could be compared to Victory Boulevard part of our training in Burbank, Ca. This had earned the title “Urban Jungle” or “Paved Hell”. It was an entirely too long patch of road with not enough water stops and enough concrete to create what seemed to be the worlds largest reflector and collector of heat. I thought Hawaii would not have this. It did and it was called Aina Haina.

At this point I was running right next to the lane which I would soon be coming back towards the finish line on. And I began to see the Keyans and the Russians. The abnormally skinny people that run at an average of 13 mph for the ENTIRE race. They finish about the time I am getting to my half marathon….no…actually before that. 2:10. Then they are done. But whatever…they were trained for it. They live for it…it’s their job. I have a job and it’s not to run. So I cheer and I mean it. I clap and I care.

This road is till going. Victory Blvd. you’ve met your match. Ohh…they have sponges that are soaked in ice water. Maybe just a little on my head. Yes! That feels nice. Excellent. I’m back. Sweet….this is good. I’m fine. I’m still by myself. I see other AIDS Marathoners…and I clap for them. I yell their name (we all wrote them on our jersey’s).

I think I see the turnaround. It’s SOOO close. HEHEHE. Then I can go back…and I’ll see my cheering section (they’ll just cross the street from mile eleven and be at mile 22 when I come back by there). Oh….but there’s Hawaii Kai. Wait. Why are we turning left? Damn it’s hot. Crap…maybe another sponge. Yeah…and I’ll stretch a little on my next walk break. That’ll do.

Still by myself. So…we are running around a lake…and it’s HOT. Now it’s just hot. No cloud cover…I’ve sweated out a lot. I’ve drank a lot of fluids…and I’ve eaten GU (a viscous substance containing 100 calories, some sodium, some electrolytes, and masked with vanilla flavoring. I pretend it’s good.) Hey there’s a lady running with her dog. I like dogs. Now I am hot and I wish there were some more people I knew. Ok…I have circled this lake, now when am I going to wrap back around. I should be getting back to the “urban landscape” where I can suffer some more…because mile 22 is somewhere. Why am I not seeing this!! Hey there’s Adam. Adam? Adam??>!!?!? Adam left like 20 min behind me. How is he ahead of me? What? Oh my. No…I’m happy for him. Yeah. I’m happy. But why am I behind. Despair begins to set in.

But there’s no day like today right? Believe. I’m the only one here. I just have to believe…be strong. Keep pushing. More sponges. Sponges and ice water. All over. Now I don’t care. I’m really soaked. Even though the water stops come every 2 miles I seem to dry up and create this salt like compound on my arms that could easily be used for exfoliant. Hey, I could bottle this. Maybe I need salt. You know if you drink too much water you can over-hydrate (hyponatremia). That’s the runners fear. That’s our big danger. Am I drinking to much water? Shit. Hey…I can lick my arm. Mmm…salty. Does that work? Can I recycle my own sodium. That would be efficient.

Hey!!! There’s mile 18. Wait a min. I am already headed back. I’ve left Hawaii Kai. I am on my way back through the urban jungle. HAHA. MORE ENERGY> I am on my way back. Those people weren’t ahead of me. YIPPEE.

I am still by myself. Hey there’s Robert. He’s 65 and I just caught up to him. He’s slowed down. Ok…I can still make it in like 4:40 min….i just gotta keep pushing it. Why are my hamstrings so tight…weird. Tighter than they’ve ever beeen. Eww. My heel hurts too….my friend got a hairline fracture in his heel….I hope I don’t have it. Robert just stopped to pee. Ok. I can’t keep this pace. I’ll slow down a little. Maybe run for 5 min and walk for 2 instead of 6/1. Ohh I don’t know. Everything hurts. OK. I’m still running. Hey….is that Kevin? How did I catch up to him?

“KEVIN!!! How u doing”. “Not good man…” “Sorry to hear that….this weather’s rough….keep it up.” “Hey Dave, wanna take a walk break with me for a min.?” Kevin needs help. “Yeah man…I’ll walk. I could use it.” (Which I could)

“What’s going on” I said. “I don’t know….I am seeing spots, it’s weird. I feel a little dizzy.” “Kev, you need salt man.” “I know…I keep licking my arm but I don’t think its helping” he said. “Hey…I tried that. OK, let’s get you some salt. My parents are at 22 and they have some Pineapple”. “You keep going Dave, seriously keep going. Don’t wait”. Crap…now I don’t feel good. Is it sympathy? I think I have to crap. Oh boy…I just threw out the TP I had when I was looking for salt. Hmm…I might just have to go on the side of the road. “I’ll cover you if you need to go dave”. “Oh…thanks…I’ll let you know”. Hm..I didn’t mean to say that out loud. I mean there weren’t quotation marks right? How did he hear me? Maybe I need salt.

Suddenly an AIDS Marathon Staff member joins us and sees the distress. She is nice enough to run ahead and fetch some salt for Kevin. He tells me to go on. Yeah…I need to keep pushing. So I do. Besides I have to look good in front of the ‘rents. So 22 gets closer and there’s the cheering section. It feels good but not as good as 11. I think my adrenaline reserve is running out. Hey there are my parents. My dad is videoing and my mom offers me pineapple. I grab a piece. It tastes like crap. No, I don’t want another piece. I gotta keep going. Can’t walk for too long. “Thanks!!”

Now I’m past Kahala and on my way back to Diamond Head. Arghhhhh it’s tough. Now I’m dumping 2 cups of ice water on me at each stop and drinking one. Can’t seem to get enough fluids….can’t seem to cool down. Can’t seem to keep running.

Out of nowhere Kevin come up with this black guy named Orlando. “Hey dave….let’s go man”. “oh…hey guys….” It’s nice to have people to talk to. “We’re taking it slow” say’s Orlando. “Orlando ran in Dublin last year and he ran a 4:21.” Ah….that makes me feel better. SO these conditions do Suck! “I ran in the Berlin marathon in September and got a 3:45” says some crazy polish guy. Ahh…we’re all struggling. This makes me feel good. Not good enough to run any faster but it does a lot for my morale. Heee. Whew.

Ok….lets just keep it nice and slow boys. We run. We run and run. There are people in there front yards with hoses. Spraying us down. Ahhhhhhh.

“Kevin we have to get in under 5 hours. We have to.” Ok we have 15 min to run a little over 1.4 miles. We have to run. Let’s step it up. “You guys go, I won’t be able to, I’m fine with coming in a little over 5 hours” says Orlando.

We take off. We have come down diamond head. We are waiting to see the chute. The 1 kilometer that is the final stretch. Kevin when we see the finish line we are sprinting. It’s 4:54….where is the finish line. Argh…..

We aren’t even speaking. How are my legs doing this? THERE IT IS. “I think I see it Kevin…let’s kick it up”. We sprint. I have never dug so deep. This was everything I had. I laid it out. Each stride I was leaving a little of myself on the pavement. Push this. Push yourself! Why??? Because….because…..prove it to yourself. Push it. Do it for you Cohen. It’s for you. 6 Months of training. “6 months of training”…I muttered to Kevin. We are passing people. Breath control is on max. In and out. Spittle flying everywhere. Don’t even care. 4:56………run.

Here it is….the finish line….all these people. We’re flying. “Thank you for running” “Thanks for your efforts” “Thanks for your money”….what’s that mean…..oh my god….did that guy have aids….did he just thank me. Here it us. Don’t look at your watch….take your hat and glasses off david. Remember look up for your finishing photo….don’t worry about your time. Forget about your watch. “Kevin put your arms up!!!” Smile….you just did it. You just crossed. “Kevin….we did it”.

We stagger into these enormous showers……anything….must cool down. Where do we go? There are so many people here. Hey, there’s john. “Kevin there’s John”. He’s talking and I hear some of it. I said to Kevin “Hey Kev…am I pale?” “Uh yeah…let’s get you to the tent”. At this point John (Kevin’s partner) is holding me up…trying to get to the AIDS marathon hospitality tent. There’s my mom. She sees it….but I’m safe. There is a triage unit…I’ll get fixed.

About 45 min. 3 or 4 ice packs and 2 good purgings later I keep down a bag of pretzels….now I’m hungry. And it’s all settling in. Hehe. Wow. That was a new extreme. I broke my own rules and set new physical boundaries.

Uh oh….I asked my mom to call Erin. But I couldn’t talk to her. That means she knows I’ve finished and I’m ok…but I couldn’t talk. Hmm….what would any self-respecting girlfriend think. I need to call her. “Hi honey…yes I’m fine. No…I just was a little sick…but I’m better. I love you too”. She reads me my results….my final results. 4:57:48. I did it. Wow. Super wow. This is only the beginning. Maybe next time I’ll take a video camera. I’m not running here again. Too many people. Hehe….already getting picky about my next marathon. But wait….I already want to run another. What’s wrong with me. Maybe I’ll switch charities next time. Maybe I should take a few weeks off. Yeah…that’s what I’ll do. It’s the holidays. That’s my gift to myself. Time to be with family and friends.

So thanks to all of you that started on this journey with me. Thanks to all of you who supported me financially and emotionally. You were all part of this journey and you were with me on Sunday. Thank to everyone who tracked me….every time I crossed a time strip I thought of all of you and thanked you. Mostly…thanks to my family….and my friends….and my girlfriend. Who every Saturday peeked her head up to make sure I made it out the door by 6:15 for training. Now I get my Saturday’s back!!! What will I do with those. Maybe I’ll start biking. Kidding Erin!!!!!!

Really though. Much love to all of you. Thank you thank you thank you. Enjoy your holidays. Appreciate your friends and family and appreciate what you have. Just give unconditionally and it will be returned.

David Cohen #8172
of Encino CA USA
10K: 01:05:48
Half Marathon: 02:19:37
30K: 03:21:20
Gun Time: 05:05:28
Finish Time: 04:57:48
Place Overall: 7691
Place Men: 5242
Place Men 25-29: 594

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ipod on shuffle

I've got a 30gb Ipod classic. It's about 10gb full right now, which is a lot of music. Most of the time I leave it on shuffle and what's weird is I'm not always happy with the selections. Most of you might think that's odd because it IS all my music. But moods come and go, and it usually doesn't match up quite right. However, when it does, oh how glorious it is.
This afternoon, after a day by the pool, I decided to wash our cars. I was in the driveway with my Ipod playing through my car. It was set on shuffle and it was just perfect. It somehow knew what I needed....
Ben Harper
Relentless 7
Stevie Ray Vaughn
and Radiohead.

Perfect mix.