My name is Nick, I am a Wisconsin dad who loves all things fitness, diving, and food! Persistent Resilience is a log of the fun and craziness that is my life. I am passionate about running, I love to see how far I can push myself, and my favorite runs are off-road. Currently I am trying to add to my ultra-marathon experience. If you have any questions about how/why I run or eat the way that I do please do not hesitate to contact me by leaving a comment, via facebook, or by email at Thanks for Visiting

15 March 2013

Recipe - Sweet Potato Chips (Dehydrator)

Sweet Potato Chips (Dehydrator)

3 Sweet Potatoes (Yams)
2 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Himalayan Sea Salt to taste

1.      Wash and peel the 3 sweet potatoes.
2.      Using a grater/slicer slice the sweet potatoes into chip sized slices.
3.      Places the slices on the dehydrator trays.
4.      Lightly brush the chips with the olive oil.
5.      Sprinkle with the sea salt to taste.
6.      Turn the dehydrator on at 115 degrees for 20+ hours or until they are crispy.  (I do mine overnight)
7.      Remove the finished chips from the trays.
8.      Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

13 March 2013

Gear Review - HOKA ONE ONE Stinson EVO B - Moon Boots Rule

Moon Boots Rule

HOKA ONE ONE Stinson Evo B

Running in Hoka shoes is like nothing you've ever experienced!”, were the exact words James the Hoka rep offered up as I cinched down the speed laces on the Stinson EVO B’s. The Hoka One One motto is, It's fun. It's fast. It's freedom. It's flying! Since my first trail ultra I had been searching for a shoe that offered a low heel to toe drop (efficient) while still maintaining a decent amount of cushion (comfort).  As a forefoot striker I naturally gravitate towards minimalist like shoes, my one complaint being that I wanted more cushion.  I know that sounds silly, but after 30+ hilly, rocky, root studded trail miles your feet and body appreciate a little comfort.  Unlike shoes that produce a hard or rigid feeling, Hokas offer up a lot of softness and a sensation of floating.

After one 5 mile run, during which I purposely ran over every rock and root I could find, I was sold.  The shoe not only absorbed the abuse of the trail and hills, but was stable on sharp corners, up hills, and down.  My biggest concern was that with the amount of foam between me and the ground I would no longer feel the trail, rest assured though just as I was unable to feel sharp rocks I could fell every little divot or bump on the path!  This shoe excited me so much that I immediately ordered a pair from Bryon at, and wore them for a 50 mile trail race.  Yes that’s right, no break in period (experts say not to try something new on race day), just out of the box and onto my feet.  Holy cow did they work, these shoes helped absorb the punishment of the trail so well that I was able to run the final 13 miles in around 1:40, and yes that was after running 37 hilly rocky miles.  This was due to the uniquely designed midsole which softens the increased impacts of downhill running and acts as a buffer against jagged obstacles on the trail.


Here are the specifics of the shoe:
Weight- 10.4 ounces, Men’s size 9
Heel to Toe Drop- 4mm (Thin Insole) 6mm (Thick Insole) yes it comes with both!

In doing a little research I was able to determine the rationale for the Stinson B model.  It was to create a shoe equally at home on the roads as well as trails by combining the best features of its sister shoes, the Bondi and Mafate.  The EVO is suitable for use on all types of on and off road terrain thanks to increased outsole traction while providing responsive cushioning, stability, and efficiency.  I have put my EVO’s to use on the trail, road, and yes the treadmill!  Oversized, light, and stable, the midsole provides a smooth, yet efficient ride. By reducing stress on the body it is an ideal training or racing shoe for ultrarunners, no matter the terrain.

A little more research and I was able to find the new features Hoka enhanced in the EVO which allow it to be used for everyday training yet make it light enough for race day.  First, there is a new light-weight outsole design which has much better traction on all surfaces, thanks to strategically placed high abrasion resistant lugs.  A 50 percent increase in outsole surface area (compared to traditional running shoes) improves grip and stability. The additional surface area allows greater contact with the ground, allowing your foot to dynamically engage the ground while the shoe's outsole gains maximum traction on pavement, dirt trails or rocky surfaces.  Second, the fit and comfort of the upper has been improved particularly with respect to the forefoot area.  Third, efficient, lightweight speed laces are now standard.  Fourth, the midsole has been enhanced with a more contoured sidewall providing slightly more width while still remaining snug.  Fifth, the EVO has been engineered for protection, comfort and propulsion with a rockered geometry that creates a platform for optimally efficient natural running mechanics.  Lab tests have shown that Hokas rockered midsole geometry and low heel-toe differential encourages proper form by allowing a runner to easily strike the ground near the midfoot.   

Like other Hoka One One models, the Stinson B EVO has a low heel to toe angle of 6mm or 4mm, depending on insert (it comes with two), and a rockered forefoot and rear foot. The midsole encourages the wearer to move in a manner similar to the way a barefoot runner does on soft surfaces. This low ramp angle also allows for tremendous confidence running downhill and the oversized midsole is designed to maximize muscle efficiency through the reduction of stress on all muscles and joints, regardless of surface or distance. 

This comes directly from Hoka One One regarding to how the EVO works.  “Recent breakthroughs in materials technology allow for 2.5 to 3 times the usual amount of ultra lightweight resilient foam to be utilized in the patent pending midsole, which is scientifically designed with a midsole geometry engineered to provide far superior biomechanical efficiency, cushioning, responsiveness and performance.  When running or walking, the feather-light EVA midsole compresses to providing excellent shock absorption- it springs back under the forefoot for increased acceleration and propulsion.  Despite the shoes being drastically more cushioned than virtually anything else on the market, because it has approximately 50% more surface area in contact with the ground and a midsole that positions the foot deeply recessed into it, the shoe provides lateral stability and protection on a level similar to many traditional stability running shoes without any midsole posting.”


I found the EVO to run true to sizing.  I wear a men’s 9.5 in Montrail and New Balance and this is what I wear in the EVO’s.  The additional set of thinner insoles is provided and can be used to accomplish one of two things; take up volume by adding them on top of the existing insoles, or to add more volume by removing the existing insoles in the shoes and replacing them with the thinner set. The purpose of the extra insoles is to help accommodate people with high volume and narrow feet.


The 2012 ultra season for me included; 2 50k’s, a 50 miler, a ½ marathon, pacing duties in a 100 miler, and too many long runs to count.  All of these were done in my Hokas and all of them were on rocky, hilly trails.  My EVO’s currently have over 700 miles on them and they are not showing any real sings of wear or breakdown, a solid 1000 miles+ is where I feel these shoes are headed.  The tread on the sole is extremely durable with all of the lugs maintaining their integrity.  I have not had any issues with the material of the shoe, which also happened to be extremely breathable.

In conclusion the Hoka One One Stinson EVO B is a fantastic addition to your running shoe collection.  I believe that this shoe can benefit every runner.  If you like comfort, it has it.  Also if you normally run more minimal this shoe can work great for recovery runs.  I would highly recommend this shoe regardless of terrain or distance. (Well maybe not a 5k, but I have done speed work in mine!)  The shoe is a bit pricey ($170) compared to some, but with its durability the cost per mile of the shoe makes it relatively cheap.  I will continue to run in Hokas!  I am currently looking over my early 2013 schedule with a road 50K as my A race, so I may need to grab a pair of the new Bondi B 2.

P.S. As a great side note, Hokas are an amazing winter running shoe.  The EVO’s tread allows for amazing traction on snow.  An unforeseen, but awesome, benefit due to the greater volume of cushion in the Hokas is that the sole does not freeze in extreme cold weather.  Yes I know this sounds weird but for those of us from more northern latitudes when you run long on really cold days your sole can actually freeze, making it feel like you are running on an ice cube, causing your feet to freeze!

05 March 2013

2013 February Training and Race Nutrition Planning

February Training and Race Nutrition Planning

This was a packed strength building month; I managed to up both my mileage and intensity.  I also managed to shovel a ton of snow, great cross training, right.  I swapped out my Monday tempo runs for hill repeats but stuck to the rest of my previous schedule of hill, easy, tempo, easy, race pace, long, off.  I was able to climb almost 7000ft over 10 miles (15%ish) when you add up the repeats that I completed, not bad for flat land WI. 

This month I also wanted to race a ½ marathon, there were not any that fit my schedule, so I decided to run one on my own.  There were two reasons I wanted to race; first was to benchmark my training, and second I wanted to be able to test out my race nutrition strategy. 

Of all of the race efforts I have laid down, from 100m to 50 miles, this was the most mentally taxing.  Racing yourself and having to maintain pace is mentally exhausting, several times I had to fight off demons begging me to just sit down in a snow bank and rest.  Another reason this effort was tough was that I had to dig my house out a heavy snowfall as a warm up.  Never before has my upper back cramped during a race, so going forward I will not be utilizing snow shoveling as a pre-race warm up.  The race effort ended up being good I finished in 1:21:32, with the final 10k being run at 6:00 pace.

The reason that I wanted to focus on my race nutrition was that I have been running all of my long runs on minimal calories and my tempo and hill runs on no calories.  As I have written before I follow a higher fat, moderate protein, low carb diet.  In an effort to keep my body burning fat during exercise, I have begun all of my workouts in a fasted state.  This means the last time I ate food was 10+ hours before the workout, I will have green tea with coconut oil before some of the more intense sessions with a VESPA before the longer sessions.  I wanted to see; first how my stomach would tolerate my planned nutrition strategy at sub race pace, and second what my energy would be throughout the run.  I am happy to report that my plan seems to be a success, I not only tolerated the drinks and gel combo, but my energy both mental and physical was stable throughout the race.  What follows is a description of how I ate the day before my race, morning of the race, during the effort, and after.  Keep in mind this is not all I ever eat and the post-race dinner meal happened to be a sushi date.

Day Before

AM: 12oz warm water with apple cider vinegar, green tea with coconut oil, 1 multi vitamin, 1 fish oil, 1 vit D3

Easy 5mi run with 5 pickups at 5:00 pace.

Full fat Greek yogurt with cinnamon, flax, 1/4C blueberries, 1/4C pineapple, ½ banana
1 multi vitamin

Snack ¼ C raw almonds

PM:  Large kale salad with avacado, beets, broccoli, asparagus, chicken, ½ sweet potato, walnuts, and shredded mozzarella cheese

Foam rolling, active isolated stretching, & 1 magnesium

Race Day

Pre-Race:  12oz warm water with apple cider vinegar, green tea with coconut oil, 1 multi vitamin, 1 fish oil, 1 vit D3
1 Packet of Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter (3 hours pre-race)
1 VESPA JR (45 min prior to race)

Race: 1 20oz bottle with chocolate coconut water & 3 gels.

Post-race: Coconut water, ½ grapefruit, ½ sweet potato, and full fat Greek yogurt with cinnamon, flax, 1/4C blueberries, 1/4C pineapple, ½ banana
1 multi vitamin

Snack: ¼ C raw almonds

PM:  12 piece sashimi, seaweed salad, miso soup, edema me, 1 glass red wine, 1/2C almonds & walnuts mix, Kale Chips

Foam rolling, active isolated stretching, & 1 magnesium

Going forward I am going to stick with the chocolate nut butter for breakfast pre-race, I believe it provides me with adequate calories, fat, and carbohydrates, without spiking my blood sugar too much pre-race.  It is also extremely convenient and travels well!  In a pinch I could use Nutella, although the sugar content is higher.  I will increase the amount I consume based on the distance of the race.  Another pre-race food I have used is ½ sweet potatoes with raw almond butter on top.   


RUN               197.1 Miles  27:22:42
BIKE              6.5     Miles
SWIM            5.6     Miles

Elevation Gain (Hill Repeats)
6600ft 10mi (15%)

Me VS Myself ½ Marathon
1:21:32 (6:14) pace last 10k at 6:00

03 March 2013

Recipe - Kale Chips (Dehydrator)

Here is a great snack food that I and my kids love.  Yes that's right a healthy snack option that kids go nuts over.  Hey its crunchy like a chip right!

Kale Chips (Dehydrator)

2 bunches of Fresh Kale
4 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 TBSP Organic Cider Vinegar
Himalayan Sea Salt to taste

1.      Combine the oil and cider vinegar in a small bowl, stir to thoroughly mix.
2.      Tear the kale leaves from the stem and rip into pieces that are about 1 inch, close to potato chip size, they will shrink.
3.      Mix the leaves and oil/vinegar mixture together in a large bowl, till the leaves are evenly coated.
4.      Place the kale leaves onto the dehydrator trays.
5.      Combine everything and place the dehydrator on 105 degrees and let it run for at least 12 hours. (I usually do it overnight)
6.      Remove the chips from the trays and store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.  (If they last that long)