Holy Crap, I’M GOING TO PARIS! I’m One of Three Americans That Were Selected to Race Up the Eiffel Tower Stairs This Year

January 23, 2018

Bonjour, je m’appelle David, et je vais en France!

I’m so honored and excited to share some extraordinary news: I’m competing in my first international stair race, and it’s in one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world, the Eiffel Tower!

I’ve been sitting on this news for almost two weeks. I shared it on social media, but held off of posting it here until the race organizers published it on their website. And that finally happened today!

La Verticale de la tour Eiffel is one of the Read the rest of this entry »

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If You Want To Eat Well in Dallas, You Should Hang Out With My Friend Mike

January 19, 2018

What kind of omelet should get while visiting Dallas? A DENVER omelet!

This was my lunch, at Cindi’s Deli, after competing the insanely challenging two-and-a-half hour Dallas Vert Mile stair race. While it was my first meal of the day, it wasn’t the first thing I ate. Prior and during the race, I consumed a protein shake, three bananas, a liter of coconut water, three packets of energy gels, Gatorade, and lots of water. This omelet, though, hit the spot!

I spent roughly a day and a half in Dallas, and this was the only meal I didn’t eat with one of my best and oldest friends, Mike. I’ve known Mike since 6th grade, and he’s lived in Dallas for over a decade. He’s an executive in the restaurant industry with a couple culinary degrees under his belt, so he knows a thing or two (or three) about how to eat the Dallas. Mike’s the reason I ate one of the best meals of my life when I was here in 2015 for a different stair race.

I arrived on Friday night, and didn’t get to Mike’s place until 11pm. We had a late dinner that Mike made: BBQ chicken thighs, broccoli, and a sweet potato. (No photograph because I was starving, it was late, and I forgot.) It was a very healthy meal – Mike grilled me earlier, over text, about what I wanted, because he knew I’d be mindful of what I ate before a big race. He also had swung by the store and bought me the coconut water and bananas that I’d need when I woke up the next day at 4:15am. What an awesome friend!

After the race, I went back to Mike’s and showered and relaxed. Later in the afternoon, we headed out to the movies, and saw “The Shape of Water,” which I highly recommend. I bought the healthiest movie snack I’d ever seen in a multiplex, roasted chickpeas.

After the movie, we went to dinner, which was a comedy of errors. Mike and I are both adventurous eaters, and Mike lives in a diverse area, where you can find restaurants with lots of different cuisines. So first we decided upon Filipino food, but the restaurant was closed. Permanently. (Check out my video from the only other time I’ve eaten Filipino food!)

Plan B was Laotian cuisine, and Mike had a friend that he consulted for a restaurant recommendation AND what to order there. But we showed up at the restaurant 15 minutes after it closed.

Plan C was a Chinese BBQ place that Mike had heard great things about, but had never tried. It was called First Chinese BBQ in Richardson, and we had a feast. There were two of us, and we ordered three entrees and soup.

Wonton soup with BBQ duck on the left, and a platter of BBQ pork and duck on the right.

broccoli rabe with garlic on the left, and Szechaun hot sauce pork with fresh tofu (my favorite of the bunch) on the right.

And just in case that didn’t seem like enough food, Mike took me to his favorite frozen yogurt place, which was actually called Favorite Yogurt, afterwards.

I got a little taro yogurt (purple), pistachio (green) and orange (orange), with sliced almonds on top.

I ate more than I normally do, but I had had a very active day, and, apart from the wonton wrappers and the added sugar in the yogurt, it was an extremely low-carb meal.

The yogurt place was in the same shopping center as Mike’s favorite cosplay store, but unfortunately, it was closed.

I’m kidding – Mike isn’t into cosplay. Not that I know of. But I had never seen a cosplay store before, so I had to take a picture!

My flight, the next day, was in the early afternoon. We had breakfast at Bubba’s Cooks Country, a retro-diner that’s inside a converted Texaco gas station from the 1920’s. I was still full from the night prior, but wanted to eat something before getting on a 3-hour flight, so I had a egg biscuit sandwich, and a side of turnip greens.

My time on the airplane was constructive: I finished the novel that I had started on my flight to Dallas (“Artemis,” by Andy Weir – a great science fiction adventure with a slightly obnoxious main character) and drew a maze, which I left in the seat pocket for the next passenger.

Like that maze? Check out my online maze store!

I landed at LAX around 1:30pm, and I was feeling a little restless after the long flight. Given that I had climbed stairs for 2.5 hours the day before, taking a rest day would’ve just fine. But I was antsy from being on the plane, and wanted to stretch my legs before sitting in my car for another 30 minutes on the drive home.

Luckily for me, LAX is next to the beach, so within 45 minutes of my plane touching down, I was walking along the Pacific Ocean.

I also walked down the breakwater that protects the entrance to Marina Del Ray.

All in all, I walked for exactly one hour, during which I covered exactly 3.25 miles. That worked out pretty well!

Keep it up, David!

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I Competed in the Dallas Vert Mile and Climbed More Stairs In One Day Than EVER Before

January 16, 2018

I was lying on the carpet, unable to move. Pain and fatigue pulsed through my body, and every limb felt heavy, like I was being pressed into the floor. A woman appeared, looking down at me. “Are you finished?” I nodded, and she disappeared, only to return a few seconds later, ripping open a little plastic pouch with her teeth. She pulled a gorgeous multi-colored medal from the pouch, and I reached up, slowly, and took it from her. I pushed a few words out, in between gasps for air: “It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.” She laughed and walked away, and as I rested the medal on my chest, my vision suddenly got cloudy. My eyes were filling with tears, and I started sobbing, nearly 500 feet above the Dallas sidewalk.

* * * * * * * * * *

Before I begin this recap of my experiences at the Dallas Vert Mile, I want to remind everyone reading this that Read the rest of this entry »


Double Peach Chicken

January 10, 2018

My first recipe of 2018! It’s a good one, inspired by a recipe I found on the back of a bottle, and then forgot about for months!

Last September, I went hiking with friends, to a rocky coastline still littered with debris from a shipwreck that happened 50 years ago. (Read about it here!) We went to lunch afterwards, and I was intrigued by the recipe for Peachy Chicken that I found on the back of the bottle of Heinz malt vinegar on our table. So I snapped a photo of the recipe.

I forgot all about the photo until recently, when I was Read the rest of this entry »


I Competed in 18 Races in 2017. A Brief Look Back Before I Start Looking Forward.

January 8, 2018

I published my 2017 Year-End Progress Report a week ago, but it occurred to me the other day that something was missing. It covers my weight loss and maintenance, my workout progress report, and my cardio miles, but there was no mention of my races. And I raced a lot. 

Time to remedy the situation! In the future, Read the rest of this entry »


Scuba Diving in the Kukulcan and Chac-Mool Cenotes Was One of the Coolest Things I’ve Ever Done!

January 4, 2018

I shared many parts of my Christmas vacation in Mexico in my last post, but I saved the best for last: Scuba diving in cenotes! And I have gorgeous photos to prove it.

Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula is full of underground rivers that wind through limestone caverns. You can access these rivers at places where the ceiling of the caverns collapsed. These access points, called cenotes (pronounced ‘sin-oh-tays’) are all over the Yucatan, and look like flooded sinkholes. Some are Read the rest of this entry »


Four Tips For Eating at a Buffet That I Figured Out During a Vacation in Mexico

January 3, 2018

I spent Christmas on a fantastic vacation in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. My whole family met up there, and we stayed at an all-inclusive resort. And, like many all-inclusive resorts, this one had a lot of buffets.

I haven’t eaten at many buffets since I started losing weight, and the thought of all the buffets was a bit daunting. After all, they Read the rest of this entry »