Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Cry Baby

I have been wanting to write this blog for awhile.  With improved time management, I am all caught up on time sensitive things (things that have to get done right fucking now) and have time to write this post.

Having said that, this post has taken up several blocks of blogging time, as opposed to getting out shorter blogs every week.  I felt a need to figure some of this out and writing down helps me process it.  This blog grew far too huge to be fun to read so I broke in into a few chunks.

It goes back to an article I read last fall after the Olympics in Rio.

You can read the entire article HERE

The following are the portions I found relevant.

Written by Helen Maroulis

Go ahead. Google me. When you do, here’s what you’ll see: First American woman to win Olympic wrestling gold … Stuns Japan’s 16-time world champion and 3-time gold medalist … Historic Olympic triumph recognized by First Lady Michelle Obama.”

And all of it is true. But there’s something even truer that you won’t see. It’s a secret. Something you can’t Google, until now.

Come close; I’ll whisper it to you…

I’m afraid.

Like, of everything. Afraid of the dark. Afraid of people looking at me. Afraid of being home alone. Afraid of not being enough. Afraid of my fear. Afraid of your impression of me after you read about my fear.

I know what you’re thinking. ‘Helen, you’re an Olympic gold medal recipient — the first ever to do so in your country. You had to wrestle boys to get to where you are. How are you possibly afraid?’ And now you’re judging me. Maybe you think this admission is a plea for attention. Maybe you’re questioning my true strength, or my courage. Maybe you think my accomplishment was just plain luck.

Or maybe, just maybe … you will say, ‘Me too.’

When I was a little girl, I was asked to quit every sport I ever played. Correction, my mom was politely asked to never bring me back. Countless coaches and instructors would say to her “It would be in everyone’s best interest if Helen didn’t return. Ever. Again.”

You see, I cried all of the time. Swimming? Forget it, not getting me on that high dive. Ballet? Ummm, all of those people staring at me? Never. I would stand there, frozen solid, then cry.

She’s not moving … still not moving. And now … yep, she’s crying became the repertoire for everything I attempted. Like a giant hook, my fear yanked me off of every stage, field and platform I’ve ever attempted.

That is, until one day.

I was seven years old. My younger brother wrestled, and my mom and I attended his practice. He was a little too young for the team, and needed a partner to continue. My mom, concerned he would quit, looked at me and said, “Helen, hurry! Kick off your shoes, stand on the mat, and be your brother’s dummy.”

So I did.

My tiny feet decked out with pink ankle socks sank into the leather mat like quicksand. They anchored me still as I stood there, playing the role of a dummy. To this day, I can’t tell you why, but at that moment, something was different.

I wasn’t afraid.

Maybe because no one was there to see me; after all, I was just a dummy. Or because rolling around with my little brother in my socks just felt familiar, like two siblings acting up at home waiting for their parents to yell before bedtime. Whatever the reason, I was seven, and I found the one stage where I wasn’t afraid to perform. And I loved it.

I begged my parents to let me wrestle. My dad finally conceded, and said, “I’ll let you wrestle one match. If you win that match, you can continue.”

So I did.

It was the only match I would win all year, but it was all I needed. That one precious victory cemented my dad’s promise. I now had permission to keep going.

So I did.

Wrestling with boys would become the norm. I didn’t have a choice. If I wanted to succeed at my newfound love, it’s what I had to do. Growing up in Maryland, girls wrestling didn’t exist, but at seven years old, I was surprisingly unfazed. It was everyone else who had a problem with it.

When you’re a cute little grade school girl, having fun, you hear things like, “ahh, you play well for a girl.” But then, things started to change.

... other than taking down their little sister in a living room match for the TV remote, they’d never wrestled a girl before.

And they didn’t want to.

It was obvious during warmups. Coach shouted, “Find your buddy.” I scoured that gym with the panic of a last person standing at a boy/girl dance, searching for one hopeless face that matched mine. I walked over to Coach.

“[Coach], I don’t have a partner.”

He said, “Helen, you have to find your own partner.”

Desperate, I ran to my mom and said “no one will work with me.” Heat rushed to my cheeks. I felt my eyes well up. My mom knew it. She saw it in me. And in a surprisingly stern tone, she looked at me and said, “Helen, I can’t help you.”

Then she stood up, and walked out the door.

It was cold. It was callous. It was exactly what I needed.

I watched her get smaller and smaller as she left the gym. The part that I didn’t see was my mom getting into her car, sitting in the driver’s seat, and crying for two hours.

I like to think in that moment, she had my cry for me.

When she came back inside and asked what happened, I told her, “I went up to these two boys and said, ‘Hey, I’m working with you.’”

And that was it.

Boys would still take turns pummeling me, though. One by one, they would try to hurt me so I wouldn’t return.

... And things were good; things should have been good. But inside I was tortured, especially at night. I still often find myself staring when the darkness is too loud replaying my insecurities. They swirl in my head like ghosts in a dark room. Darkness is still the one opponent, I can’t take down.

Oh, how my mind taunts me.

Being around boys all of the time, I found myself trying to adopt their mentality. Don’t show emotion. Push through. Don’t expose weakness. I was studying men who won gold medals in wrestling. I tried to mimic their mental game. I couldn’t do it. I tried, but I just couldn’t.

...When I pretended to be fearless, I learned I was closing myself off to my creative side. For me, the mat is my canvas. Without fear, there is no courage. And without courage, there is no creativity. And without any of those, being on the mat just doesn’t work.

I also learned that anxiety has a well-worn passport. Mine became my travel companion: London, China, even Rio. At the Olympics, you watched me pin a champion. You saw me accept my gold. Maybe you even cried a little when I carried our country’s flag over my shoulders.

...I couldn’t breathe.

Before the opening ceremonies, I was pinned. My journal entry read:

“I can’t stop crying. I’m making myself sick. For the first time in my life, I explained to Terry [my Coach] what my anxiety was like. What it felt like to be afraid of irrational things. I was always afraid to tell him, because I was afraid he wouldn’t think I was mentally capable of a gold medal. And at the Olympics, I didn’t want to look weak.

He said that I was strong to reach out and talk to him. He also said when we are hyper-sensitive to everything, it’s our bodies way of preparing for battle.”

He was right.

After you win a gold medal, you get to do a lot of cool stuff. Like, be the first female to lead the Baltimore Ravens in a pregame locker room pep talk.

Coach Harbaugh rallied the team:

“I met Helen Maroulis, the gal from Maryland who we saw beat a legendary Japanese champion in wrestling. And when you beat a legend, you become a legend…”

My eyes circled the huddle. Like sizing up an opponent across the mat, I stared at their faces — stoic, fearless, exactly what you would expect from anyone about to enter into battle.

Ah, that face, I know you all too well.

My parting words to the men were this:

“You don’t have to be the best. You just have to be enough. And on that day, I was enough.”

...See, this story isn’t about me. It’s is about expectations. It’s about assumptions. It’s about being human. I think asking us athletes to progress in our chosen sport and live a life devoid of fear is just a smidge too much responsibility to impose on one fragile human psyche, don’t you think?

Especially one as fragile as mine.

My journey brought me to a definitive realization: We live in an illusion that champions are fearless, and that any admission to the contrary is defined as weakness. While we need to believe that the extraordinary can happen and glimpses of God exist in our heroes — and believe me, we do — my fear … my deepest fear … is when another seven-year-old girl steps off the mat because feeling afraid isn’t welcomed. Or because hurt isn’t allowed. Advances of young girls in our nation and the sport of wrestling itself cannot afford to see fewer pink socks.

There’s a stigma that only tough girls wrestle. There’s a stigma that only fearless people win. Yet here I stand in front of you. In front of our country. In front of the world − distinguished by my gold − and by the overwhelming feeling that all of my fears and all of my anxieties in that moment rolled down my body with every tiny bead of sweat, one by one.

But just for now, let that be our little secret.

This article resonated with me for several reasons.
First and foremost is because I wrestled, and... I was a huge crybaby - I get it.
I cried all the time when I was a kid.  I cried all through high school.  Then I learned to stop crying.

Now I make jokes that I'm dead inside. I don't have weak human emotions.  I don't cry, but sometimes it gets dusty.

I'm not dead inside, but necessity has caused me to become emotionally hardened.

If someone does not have an emotional response to all that many things, then by definition it is more difficult to have their "monkey" triggered and they can operate from a much more logical perspective.

However, on those rare occasions when their monkey is triggered, when something causes an emotional response, it can be much more difficult for them to deal with because they have much less "field experience" managing their emotions.

Emotions are natural and you can not be devoid of them.
As Helen wrote

When I pretended to be fearless, I learned I was closing myself off to my creative side. For me, the mat is my canvas. Without fear, there is no courage. And without courage, there is no creativity. And without any of those, being on the mat just doesn’t work.

So if we can't be devoid of emotion we have to learn to use emotion to our advantage.

I used to cry before wrestling meets, I used to cry whenever I didn't get my way.  Now I get paid to kick doors on high risk felony warrants.  I have lots of "field experience" dealing with emotion. Helen's article encouraged me to share my unique perspective on the topic.

Emotion and diminished capacity

Helen wrote

  •  I think asking us athletes to progress in our chosen sport and live a life devoid of fear is just a smidge too much responsibility to impose on one fragile human psyche, don’t you think?

Fair enough, if that is true for our athletes - how much more so for our Police and our Military.

Bad day at work for an athlete you lose.  Hopefully you learn something from it and come back stronger.

Bad day in other professions you die, or your actions (or inaction) cause the death of one of your crew, or an innocent.

That is a heavy burden.  It is easy to sit in comfort and second guess people in those difficult positions days after the incident.

Much harder to be able to function while feeling emotion (in an adrenalized body)

Here is a video that makes that point well

Emotion diminishes capacity.  It is imperative to be able to function, to perform at a high level when adrenalized.

How is that done?

To answer that, first we need to ask - what is emotion?

And, to answer that, we use this exercise at Violence Dynamics during the Conflict Communications class.

Have you ever been in love?
If so, especially when it was new, what did it feel like?

If you would like to play along at home take a second and write down your answers before you scroll down any further.

Perhaps you felt:

  • Sweaty palms
  • Face flush - blushing
  • Butterflies in your stomach
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Voice Squeaks

But that felt really good right?  Being around that person gave you a rush.  You "loved" that person, at least for a while.

Did you try to talk to the person that made you feel like that?
Were you eloquent ?  Or maybe that smooth, flirtatious pick up line just wasn't there.

How about this, have you ever been in a fist fight?
If so, what did it feel like?

Again, if you would like to play along at home take a second and write down your answers before you scroll down any further.

Perhaps you felt:

  • Sweaty palms
  • Face flush - blushing
  • Butterflies in your stomach
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Voice Squeaks

That didn't feel so good right?  Being around that person made you angry.  You "hated" that person, at least for a while.

Did you try to talk to the person that made you feel like that?
Were you eloquent ?  Or maybe that slick come back that would have crushed them just wasn't there.

Stuttering over your words is an example of diminished capacity.

Every wonder why the perfect comeback or the perfect line comes to you hours later?

That perfect line comes to you, when you are no longer adrenalized.  When you are no longer experiencing the symptoms of emotion.

This all stems from a survival mechanism.  You perceive a stimulus in the environment that triggers a fight of flight response.

A chemical cocktail starts pumping through your blood. (Adrenalization)

Emotions are just physical symptoms you feel when your brain is experiencing that chemical cocktail that pumps into your blood

The specific emotion is just how we label the experience.  Whether we perceived it as positive or negative.

That might upset some folks.  Please don't be upset.  This concept may seem new, and even scary. How ever, all of us have been exposed to this idea in one form or another before.  Hollywood is full of tropes that deal with these ideas.

For example:

The man and woman that are best friends since they were kids, then one is going to get married to someone else.  The other "fears" the change, "fears" they will lose them.  Then BAM!, all of a sudden they realize they "love" this person.  Romantic inspiration for 90% of the movies my wife watches on the Hallmark channel and also an example of the chemicals caused by a fight or flight response being labeled an emotion.

Or, the two that always bicker and fight - until "anger" leads to passion

What is emotion?

Emotions are just physical symptoms you feel when your brain is experiencing that chemical cocktail that pumps into your blood in response to a fight or flight stimulus.

The specific emotion is just how we label the experience.

I'm not saying that you never experienced love.  I'm not saying that you do not love your someone special.

I just want readers to look at emotion from a different angle.

We can't live our lives devoid of emotion.  Nor would we want to.  However, emotion diminishes our capacity to perform in high stress situations.  So we have to learn to use emotion to our advantage.

Recognizing the symptoms of adrenalization is the first step to controlling your emotions under stress.

Once you can recognize them  - what are you going to do about it?

Answers to that question and much more when the Budo Blog returns with Cry Baby Part 2

Until then...
Train hard, Train smart, Be safe

Thursday, January 12, 2017

USMAA North Central Regional Training Camp

Six to eight weeks out is when people really start paying attention to an event.
I am starting to get very excited because we are 7 weeks out from the USMAA North Central Regional Training Camp.

I have written about national camp several times on the Budo Blog.  This is the second time I have had the honor of hosting a regional camp, highlighting local talent and bringing in big names that were kind enough to travel for the seminar.

The seminar will be held at the  Mounds View Community Center
5394 Edgewood Dr, Mounds View, MN 55112

Friday 02/24/2017
An introduction to Visayan Style Corto Kadena Escrima (VSCKE)
"Sword Dueling"
With Dillon Beyer

Dillon has been travelling back and fourth to Oakland to train with Maijia Soderholm
If you are a regular reader of the Budo Blog (and you should be) you know how much I admire Maijia.

Plus every time I have had an opportunity to play with her she has cut me to shreds.  Driving home just how scary edged weapons should be, and just how irrelevant size, strength and youth can be against a blade.

My favorite Maijia quote " Yes come wrestle me monkey boy"

Maija Soderholm​ was a long time private student of the late Filipino sword master Sonny Umpad, and an official inheritor of his system.  

Visayan Style Corto Kadena
The style emphasizes dance-like flowing movements, speed, elusiveness and explosive power. The art is based on the blade, although sticks, empty hands and kicks are also used.

Dillon Beyer's study group is the only (VSCKE) training available in the upper Midwest.  I am very excited that he and Maijia are willing to share the art with a larger audience at training camp.

Saturday 02/25/2017
Strikes for Standing Grappling (Hits for Jits)
With Dillon Beyer

Dillon starts things out for us Saturday morning.  He will hit you so hard you will shit out your skeleton. He is also very good at helping you develop that power as well.  I always like to have Dillon's class before mine so I can seem smart by referring to what he just said.

Logic of Take downs
With Kasey Keckeisen

This is one of my favorite classes to teach.  A style free principle based approach to the practical application of takedowns.

Counter Assault
With Randy King

Randy is the one on the right

This class is one of the highlights of the Randy King Live Tour.  The highest compliment I can give some one is to steal his stuff.  I steal stuff from this class all the time.

If you want to do more than pay lip service to escape and evade you need this type of training

Fighting Principles of Western Wrestling
With Eric Holien

The second highest compliment I can give someone is to seek their input / advice on things I am working on.  I ask for advice and bounce ideas about the martial aspects of Wrestling with Eric.

Eric's class at the national camp last year was one of my favorites, and I'm glad this regional camp gives us another opportunity to play together.

I reserved Sunday for the big guns.  Both in experience / name recognition and bicep size.

Sunday 02/26/2017
Combat Wrestling
With Omar Ahmad

Katamedo translates as the way of grappling.  Embracing all grappling has to offer.  As such Omar has been heavily involved with the USA Combat Wrestling Team.

Katamedo Jujitsu practitioners have won 4 world championships in various grappling competitions in 2016

Omar will be sharing some of the most successful competition proven grappling principles in his Combat Wrestling class.

I am hard to impress.  Omar continues to impress me.  I am honored that he is willing to come to Minnesota and share some of his awesome with us

Last, but clearly not least...

Neck Cranks and Spine Controls
With Steve Jimerfield

I started listing off Jimerfield Sensei's accomplishments, then I realized this blog is going to be too long for anyone to read.  So,if you don't know who Steve is click Here

In retrospect stealing stuff isn't the biggest compliment I can give.  I believe you can learn from anyone.  At the very least you can learn how not to do something.  Although you can learn from anyone, there are very few people I am willing to call Sensei.  Steve Jimerfield is one of those very few.

If you can't tell, I am stoked at the line up I was able to put together for this seminar.  Having said that being able to train with Jimerfield alone is worth the price of admission.

Speaking of the price of admission...

Entire Seminar $200
$150 for USMAA members
Free for graduates of the O3CT Instructor School (more on that to follow)

$75 per session
Pay Pal registration page will be up HERE next week

Any questions please call Kasey Keckeisen at 763 360 7200

Train hard, Train smart (train with us), Be safe.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Why don't we have more women at our school?

I have been working hard to provide fresh and timely content on the Budo Blog
Second week of the new year and I have 2 blogs out already!!!

Well, to be totally honest this installment didn't take a whole lot of work on my part.

I have quoted and referred to conversations I have had with Anna Valdiserri on the blog several times


I have also said, if you teach personal protection or professional use of force to women you need to buy this book:

Trauma Aware Self Defense Instruction

This installment of the blog was easy for me all I had to do was post a picture and type read this

Anna's blog

So go read Anna's blog and enjoy.
Also be sure to go HERE and like the page

Dillon Beyer and I will be doing a Facebook Live discussion Saturday 01/14/2017 focusing on the upcoming USMAA North Central Regional Training Camp

Train hard, Train smart, Be safe

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Improving the hand you are dealt

Wow, it has been a long time since I rocked roll.  No excuses, the time pressure of end of year training and added responsibilities of the holidays are over.  I'm back.  Back to writing projects, back to Dojo business, and back to the Budo Blog.

Sometimes all of those things cross over.  For example I have been developing a student handbook for the Dojo.

As I was working on that, I was discussing applying martial arts for self defense with Jeff Burger (coachjeffburger.com)

Someone asked him in an interview "What are your 10 Commandments for Self Defense?"

 #1 Don't be an asshole. Don't be someone people want to beat up.

#2 Don't be a target. If you a 90 year old, 90 lb little old lady you're a target.  However, we can all be aware of our surroundings, how we carry ourselves ....

#3 Mindset. Read some books on the subject, start with Meditations on Violence" by Rory Miller

#4 Cardio / Anaerobic Conditioning Most people, even those who are in shape are going to be out of gas in less than 1 minute. If you can last past that you have a big advantage.  Then there is just being good at running away.

#5 Strength Training. Being stronger helps in giving and receiving and a visually fit person is less of a target.

#6 Boxing or grappling ( Judo, Wrestling, BJJ, Sambo )

#7 Boxing or grappling ... whatever one you did not do for #6

#8 Other striking arts that have elbows, knees, kicks ( Muay Thai, Kali ....)

#9 Weapons. Use with and defense from.stick, knife, gun, improvised. This needs to cover empty hand vs each weapon and each weapon vs empty hand and each weapon vs each weapon

#10 Multiple Opponents

Jeff asked me what I thought.  I told him I liked it enough to steal it.  Highest compliment I can give

#'s 6-10 we address at the Dojo on a regular basis
#'s 1-3 we address at Violence Dynamics

I'd like to use the Budo Blog to address:

#4 Cardio / Anaerobic Conditioning
#5 Strength Training

You may be asking yourself - Kasey, you run the world famous (hey if I say it enough it has to be true, right) Keishoukan Dojo.  Why don't you address strength and conditioning there?

I have a couple of pet peeves, so take this next bit with a grain of salt.
I dislike:
Martial arts classes that are over 70% conditioning.
Martial arts classes that use intense conditioning to sell a belief that the training is somehow more real.

I have had a lot of fun, and the Dojo has enjoyed increased success playing with the idea of - how would I train my 13 year old daughter to end me.

Being stronger, faster, and better conditioned than me are not options that she has. (Not yet anyway)

She has to play the hand that she has been dealt.  We all have to play the hand we are dealt.  So classes focus on principles - leverage and lever points, use of gravity, two way action, maximizing athleticism, breaking a threat down.

Then testing these principles under increasing levels of resistance.  Confidence through competence.

That takes up a lot of training time.  Not much time left for strength and conditioning.

The thing is, although you have to play the hand you are dealt, you can always be working on improving your hand.

You have time.  Your own time outside of the Dojo.

Strength and speed are fickle gods.  Don't depend on them, but if they are with you, you'd be a fool not to take full advantage.

So...how do you get those gods to be with you?  Just like any good pagan with sacrifice (time, effort, sweat)

This blog will be the first in a series covering -  improving the hand you are dealt.
Time Management (not even the best training program in the world will work for you if you don't have time to work the program)

At the same time I was writing this, I was discussing similar related topics with Nathan Corliss from the St. Louis Katamedo Dojo.

So I decided to kill a couple birds with one stone.


First and foremost clearly I am not a Doctor nor a Dietitian.  At best I am a guy who was pretty fat, busy with a family and a demanding job, who found ways to be less fat by trial and error experimentation on myself.  A Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde if you will.

I also write a blog and am willing to share what worked with me.  I'm nothing special, if it worked for me it can work for anyone willing to put in the work.

The point being it worked for me because I adapted basic concepts to meet my needs.  On this blog I will share general ideas that can be adapted and applied to any one's specific needs.

My discussion with Nathan brought up the idea of - Carb Cycling

The following article contains the basic concept
5 facts you should know about carb cycling and fat loss

Why carb cycling?

I lost a bunch of weight on a carb free diet.  I also think that was a contributing factor in rupturing my bicep

With Batman by 40 I was able to hit my goal weight by more strictly watching my caloric intake and the timing of carbs.

For Beyond Batman I wanted to get stronger.  That entailed a bulking season and a cutting season.

However, life circumstances changed.  I no longer had access to the training facilities and times I had previously enjoyed.  Bulking and shredding no longer made sense.  I had a bulking season then I was stuck with no shredding season.

Also, Crime Fighting / Personal Protection has no season and as such no off season.

In retrospect it doesn't do me any good to have peaks of strength, but can't chase down a criminal, or run to cover.  Nor dose it do me any good to have peaks of conditioning, if I can't lift and carry a downed officer to safety.

I need to be strong and conditioned year round, every year.

Myron Cossitt delivered an excellent presentation at Viody 16

In it he outlined a cycle

My Goals:
Strong and conditioned, improving both slowly / consistently over time (you have time)

Making sure I have the calories / nutrients I need to fuel the training of the day while avoiding excessive caloric intake.

Carb Cycling

As I mentioned earlier this will be the first in a series of blogs.  As such I won't get too in depth on other topics here.  However, they all work together so they need to be mentioned.

First and foremost - Time management.  Making sure you have the time in your life to do the things you need to do to achieve your goals.

Strength Training - I have the time to strength train twice a week
Conditioning - I have the time (and need) to run once a week
Rest - I have to (can't get to the gym) have three rest days a week

How I use carb cycling.

I eat six meals a day everyday.  Again time management - even on rest days I have to wake up early enough to get all the nutrients I need.  The first two meals every day have carbs.  Carbs are necessary for fuel and recovery so I try to eat them early so I have all day to use them and they are not stored as fat.  On running days the first four meals have carbs.  Finally on lifting days all six meals have carbs.

An often repeated phrase at the Dojo is - for things to work under pressure they have to be stone simple. 

The more complicated something is the more likely it is to fail under stress.
Nutrition is no different.

How to keep things simple - start with your goals, then do the math.

I want to maintain my body weight at around 220lbs.
I can do that by consuming roughly 2250 calories a day

The general guidelines for endurance and strength-trained athletes suggest consuming between 1.2 and 1.7 g/kg of protein for the best performance and health.

How to Calculate Your Protein Needs
1. Weight in pounds divided by 2.2 = weight in kg
2. Weight in kg x 0.8-1.8 gm/kg = protein gm.
Use a lower number if you are in good health and are sedentary (i.e., 0.8). Use a higher number (between 1 and 1.8) if you are under stress, are pregnant, are recovering from an illness, or if you are involved in consistent and intense weight or endurance training.
Example: 154 lb male who is a regular exerciser and lifts weights
154 lbs/2.2 = 70kg
70kg x 1.5 = 105 gm protein/day

220lbs is roughly 100kg.  I try to consume at least 200 grams of protein every day.
That is my baseline.  200 grams 2250 calories divided over six meals

Rest Days / Baseline
2000 calories in general + 250 calories roughly 100 grams of carbohydrates.  The carbs to be consumed before noon if possible.
Caloric Intake:
40% Protein
30 % Carbs
30% (or less) fat

I have three to four rest days per week.  I understand academically that these are necessary.  That they are good for me, and allow me to grow stronger / repair damage.  However, they tend to drive me crazy.  I feel like I should be doing something, even if doing something is counter productive to my goals.  I also have a history of over training / under recovering leading to injuries.  Having nutritional goals / benchmarks to meet on rest days give me something active to do, keeps me in the grind.

I have to force myself to remember that I am on the wrong side of 40.  I may want to train 7 days a week, but I can't.  Being disciplined with my nutrition allows me to be active all week with out over training.

To keep things simple I try to have the same source of protein for each meal then add carbs as necessary to compensate for increased work load.
For example I like grilled chicken and veggies for an after noon meal.  On days I need more carbs I still have grilled chicken and veggies, I just add brown rice or a sweet potato.

Running Days
2000 calories in general + 500 calories roughly 200 grams of carbohydrates.  The carbs to be consumed before 3pm if possible.
Caloric Intake:
35% Protein
35 % Carbs
30% (or less) fat

Strength Days
2000 calories in general + 750 calories roughly 300 grams of carbohydrates.  The carbs to be consumed before 6pm if possible.
Caloric Intake:
30% Protein
40% Carbs
30% (or less) fat

I understand that was a lot of writing for something that is supposed to be stone simple.
Bottom line, find sources of protein you like to eat, can afford, and can cook
Same goes healthy sources of carbohydrates.
Lastly learn how to make decent meals / snacks out of these different building blocks.
Stay tuned here for a special guest blog by Lise Steenersen on how to do just that.  The kickass cook book

Nathan asked me - Noticed any differences yet? Or still playing with it?
I have no objective means to measure, such as body fat calipers or the like.  However, my body weight remains the same while I have had significant strength increases, I can run a mile in under 7 minutes, and I like what I see in the mirror.

I'm nothing special, if it worked for me it can work for anyone willing to put in the work.

It worked for me because I adapted basic concepts to meet my needs. 
Don't copy me, if you want try carb cycling or any of the ideas I share here take what you find useful and adapt it to your needs.

Train Hard, Train Smart, Be Safe

Happy New Year