Saturday, March 31, 2012
Friday evening Ellen's parents arrived in town. We headed over to Genghis Grill so Phillip (my father-in-law) and I could carb load for the big event the next day. I joined the Amarillo Athletes team that was headed by Blue Bagget, the owner of the Amarillo Athletes CrossFit type gym. There were 31 people on our team. Click this link to read the Amarillo Globe-News article about the team. http://amarillo.com/sports/more-sports/2012-03-29/athletes-know-its-1-tough-mudder
We woke up at 5:30am and got on the road at 6:30 to head to the hotel in Dallas where the rest of the team was staying. Phillip and I were still full from dinner so we just got a strawberry/oatmeal parfait and I got a smoothie. Our team was scheduled to start at noon and the website said to be there 2 hours early for registration/packet pickup. The team was taking a while to get ready so Phillip and I headed out at 7:50. It is a 100 mile drive from Dallas. We decided to stop in Corsicana to make a rest stop and get any supplies/snacks we needed. Phillip's friend Dr. Bob Gerald was staying in Corsicana and we met up with him because he knew they way to Freestone County Raceway. I had planned to grab some breakfast from Sonic but just grabbed a Powerade instead. We got to the exit for the event and found that the line to get in was backed up over 4 miles. Luckily it was just past 9am and we had plenty of time until we had to start.
We waited a while and slowly started moving. The rest of the team was way behind us. I finished my Powerade and starting drinking the 1.5 liter bottle of water I brought to stay hydrated. It was cloudy and 71 degrees so we rolled down the windows and opened the sunroof. Eventually the water did it magic and I decided to let Phillip take over the wheel while I found some bushes to water. As luck would have it as soon as I got out the traffic started moving. I started sprinting to the car running along side a mini-van full of people. The driver pretended he was racing me. Phillip had pulled over and I hopped in the car and it stopped moving. We lost about 4 places in line. I decided this was the perfect time to put on some sun block and flip thru my CD collection to find music to pump me up. Phillip decided to find a fence so I got back at the wheel and put in my James Brown album. He always gets me pumped up. Half an hour passed and I did not see Phillip but I kept moving forward. About 11:15am the sun came out and the clouds started to fade away. I decided to take am 5-hour energy drink and listen to Rage Aganist the machine. I felt like I was in high school again bouncing around in my car with the music blaring and my windows down. Ellen called me and I explained what was going on. Right about this time I saw Phillip and Bob drinking beers with some cowboys leaning again a fence. Leave it up to those to to find such a thing. I got a text that said, "We apologize for the delay in parking. Don't worry if you missed your start time, time you can start in a later group. See you soon." I started to relax a bit. Alot of people had abandoned their car along the road or paid to park at some ranch houses and were walking and jogging to the entrance. Eventually was got to the overflow parking lot and waited to assemble our group.
We walked into the registration area and turned in our "Death Waiver" and picked up out bibs and got our numbers written on our arms with a permanent marker. We made a dash for the restroom then scaled an 8ft wall to get to the starting line. There was an MC with a microphone there getting up pump and playing the national anthem. At 1:10pm we started. The beginning was a bunch of hills along the motorcross track mixed in with puddle of mud. The first obstacle was a pond with rows of barrells across it. You had to swim under them and get to the other side. Next up there was a 10ft wall. I am only 5'7" on a tall day so I had someone give me a lift and I fell backwards right on my ass. The second attempt was a success. Next up we had to crawl under some barbed wire in the mud. We waded thru another pond then came up on a bunch of mud/clay hills with shoulder deep water between them. There was a photo op right in the middle. We got out of the mud and came up on three dumpster and an ice truck. We climbed into the dumpster and had to duck under a board into the ice cold water. I screamed like a little girl as I came back up and climbed out. Mile 1 complete. Next up was a long run and I trailed just behind Bob and Phillip. I slowed down when we crossed a watery mud puddle. The next two miles had a few obstacle but i can't really remember them or the sequence. We had the crawl thru a dark tunnel, under more barbed wire, and thru a wooden narrow trench. At mile 3 we came up on a sign that said "You just completed the Warrior Dash but you are a Tough Mudder and still have 9 miles to go." Yay, looks like this is a 12 mile obstacle course! We came up on a traffic jam. We got a chance to pee and catch out breath.
We had to cross a creek with steep muddy banks. Everyone was going to the left so our guy decided to go to the right. Phillip was the first one up and warned me about the thorny wild roses so I climbed up a steeper area. I grabbed a thick root and used my right leg to climb up and my right calf cramped up a little. We started running again and came to an water station. I grabbed a banana and chugged 3 cups of water. I felt a boost of energy and started back on the trail with a some pep in my step. I think it might have been at this point that we did the log carry. Bob, Phillip, and I carried an 8-10ft log together. I got in the middle and had to hold it up while they rest it on their shoulders. We waded thru a pond then put it back. It was at this point we lost our other team members and headed down a long straight out and back. Next up was rows of walls across water with 2x4s for your toes and fingers to scale across. Phillip went first followed by Bob and I was right next to him. When we got 3/4s of the way across the board got thinner and I was putting all my weight on my finger tips. I slowed down and made it across. That was a fun unexpected obstacle. We took up running again and Bob twisted his ankle so we slowed down for a bit. The next task was crossing a long with two ropes. One for your feet and for your hands. The other guys in our team catch up and Bob crossed with them and I cross the same rope as Phillip. It got wobbly but I found holding my facing each other on the rope helped me keep my balance. We got across and Phillip cleaned out his shoes and Bob fell on his face in the slimy mud. I think we were at about mile 6 at this point.
At the next water station I grabbed a gel back out of my bag, tore it open with my teeth since my gloves were caked in mud and just quirted it at my mouth. We took off running again and came up on a HUGE hill that was muddy. We decided to go up the left side since it was a little dryer. When we got to the top the other side was slick so we slide down on our butts. I hit my tailbone halfway down and winced in pain a little. We ran over some smaller hills and with the last of my endurance I took off sprinting and waiting at the beginning of devils beard. We got behind a guy that was 6'4" or more and walked under the heavy muddy rope nets holding it above our heads. The next obstacle was twinkle toes. 8 double 2x4 across a pool. We went to the one on the far right but soon found out it was bowed and wobbly. Phillip went first and made it almost halfway before he lost his balance and fell in. I decided to go next and lined my feet up straight with the board. When I got to the middle it started to shake so I stopped and found my balance. I slowed down and made it across. Next up was Bob and after seeing a girl take uff her shoes he did the same holding hit arms out like a T with his shoes in his hand. He made a ways but fell in when the board started shaking. We got back on the trail and crossed mile 10 marker.
We ended up in some super sticky mud and my left shoe was close to being sucked off. We got down into a creek bed and everything came to a stop. I found pointing my toes downward and keeping my heels high reduced the mud sucking in my shoes. Bob and Phillip and some other got fed up with the traffic jam so we hopped a fence and back tracked to the next obstacle, MOUNT EVEREST!!!. It was tall curved wall that was oiled down. There were guy was the top laying down with there arms out to catch people. Bob went first and ran up but could not grap their hands. I went next and sprinted but missed and slid down on my toes. Phillip and I tried about 3-4 times and on the fourth time I banged my knee and scraped as I came down the wall. We both decided we were done not wanting to injure our knees. We watched Bob keep trying and he finally made it. He is a tough 63 year old. We waited while he helped up a few fellow mudders. Bob's wife Laurel was there taking pictures. We were at mile marker 11 and there were alot of spectators watching the final 5-6 obstacles.
Next up was the electric eel. It was similar to the one where you crawl under barbed wire but this one had electrical wire dangling lower and it with full of thick muddy slimy water. There was a guy saying,"The power is off, GO! GO! GO!" so Phillip dived in and I followed right being him. We managed to make it without a shock but we had to keep our whole body and half our face up to our nose in the mud. We got out and Laurel took a picture of the three of us. NEXT UP the one I had been dreading for a while, Funky Monkey, pyramid shaped monkey bars over water. When we got to it the water was deeper and it was shorter than it looked in the videos and pictures I had seen. Phillip and I used a discarded piece of cloth use while the mud off our gloves. I said my goal was to make it 5 bars but when we got closer we saw the bars were not secured and rolled in place. I decided to go last. Bob and Phillip both fell in and I made it 2-3 bars and did the same. Right after we came up to the plank. You have to climb up a slanted wall to get to the platform. I climbed up first once we got on top I decided to jump as soon as possible because height tend to make me nervous. I jumped in and held my bag because the zipper was stuck open. The water was refreshing and the cleanest we had been in all day. I was able to zip my bag under water and we headed to the final obstacle... Electric Shock Therapy! There was a big group wait to cross so we cut over the left side. They were letting waves of people cross in rows. The first wave we saw a guy got zapped fell into the row a hay in the middle you have to jump over. He grabbed his knee and crawled off to the side getting zapped as we winced in pain. Next thing I know we went next skipping about 30+ people who were waiting. I got zapped in my right shoulder and dove over the hay and crawled then jumped up and hit a few wires at the end but no shock. We took a group pic at the finish line and grossed it about 5:38pm. It took us 4 hours 28 minutes and we have planned on 3 hours. We got our orange headbands and grabbed a victory beer, chugged it, then grabbed another for good measure.
Next we headed to the showers (a firefighter with a big hose). I laid my stuff in a pile and got sprayed down. I took off my shirt and my superhero boxers and got sprayed again in just my compression shorts. It felt sooo good to be cleaned off. We found Laurel and she gave us our checked bag and took a picture of Phillip and I. We hung around for the rest of our team to finish. Everyone was done by about 6pm. They were headed back to Dallas/Addison and go out for drink but since we had a long walk to the car and a 2+ hour drive back to Denton we decided not to join them. We called our wives and asked them to have some dinner for around 9pm. When we got to south Dallas we called again and they had not figured out food yet so we went to Torchy's Tacos. I had never been there before but I heard of the taco of the month, "Ace of Spades." Since it was March 31st and all be had to eat that day was a parfait, banana, and trail mix I figured it would be the perfect snack before dinner.
I took my Olympus Stylus 720SW Shock and Waterproof came with me in a fanny pack. Some areas there was just was too much mud to clean off the lens. Here are the pictures I took along the way:
I will upload more pictures later and update this blog...
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Right now I am debating if I should skip my usual bicep/tricep workout tomorrow to save my strength and keep from being sore Saturday. I am considering doing the 5:45am Spin class instead.For my weekly Thursday weight in I was at 170.0 and 13.5% body fat making today the leanest I have ever been. Not being in a 12 week challenge means no stopping any time soon.
This picture describes how I feel right now...
Left (January 2011) right before my first 10k. I was very nervous and almost didn't go.
Right (March 2010) Monkeying around in Reno during Active Rest after my first BFL challenge.
I put the dog inside and decided to do another set of sprints to burn off some more energy. I started under the street light by my house and sprinted 2 streetlight down the street. I rested for 75 seconds then sprinted back. I want to add more sprints into my week to improve my 5k time so I can run the Mayfest 5k in under 25 minutes.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
I walked back to my car and after I caught my breath I felt like I had more energy. I look across the field and saw some trees and decided to sprint to them as fast as possible. I sprinted 400ish feet and it took me 25 second with a 4:50-5:25 pace. I rested and caught my breath again and sprinted the same distance back in 20 second with a 4:27-5:15 pace. It was dusk and running in the grass in the dark felt like an amazing windy rush. This is the fastest I have even moved on foot according to my garmin connect activity log. My second fastest was my spring thru downtown Fort Worth at the Cowtown Half at a pace of 5:33
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
We started out at an 8:15 pace and reached 0.5mi in 4:05. Then came the long uphill and we slowed down a little. I was unsure how far he could go but he still had energy at the 1 mile turnaround. We headed back up the hill at a 9ish pace and came down the hill strong. Winston seemed to loose steam at 1.47mi and we slow down to a jog at 1.5mi to recover. At 1.6 I picked up the pace again and with some words of encouragement he stayed just behind my side until we had 0.25 left and I slowed down a little then we went full speed (6:45-7 pace) till the end finishing in 17:36. We started walking home but I love to run so we sprinted another 0.2mi on the way home. Winston was panting for an hour after we got home. He and Ellen will be doing the couch to 5k program together soon.
Monday, March 26, 2012
I had a strong workout. I cut some of my rests down to 45 seconds between sets instead of a min and my entire workout lasted 31 minutes. I did drop sets on my instead four 12 rep sets of my third group of superset to cut down addition time. I got home feeling all pumped up and threw on a tank top. Ellen talked me into wearing the shirt I wore to work saying I looked like a douchebag. I told her douchebag is an attitude not a look and I just felt confident and good about myself. Plus this sunny warm spring weather is nice sitting out on the restaurant's patio. Summer is coming and I want to enjoy the comfortable sunny days in the 80s.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Friday, March 23, 2012
When you’re facing 26.2 miles of hard open road with nothing but a pair of Nikes and your own determination to see you through, you get a little attached to the outcome. In fact, the outcome – the finish line, the win, the PR – sustains you. It drives you. Without the promise of relief it holds, you wouldn’t be here, doing this, running this ridiculous number of consecutive miles. You certainly aren’t going to be savoring each and every step. You won’t be basking in the glory of the toil and immense physical effort as they transpire. You will be anything but present, in the moment; you will be attempting, with all of your mental faculties, to transport yourself to the finish line so that you can finally end the misery of the moment.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? Really makes you wanna become an elite world-class marathoner, right? That’s what I lived for twenty some-odd years of my life as a runner and, later, triathlete: an obsessive fixation on the outcome of whatever grueling bout of endurance I was currently performing complemented by a feverish attempt to ignore what was happening as it happened. If I could have popped a handful of Xanax and conked out for the journey like an air traveler with flight anxiety only to wake up just as my foot crossed the finish line, believe me, I would have.
Naturally, then, getting away from that mindset, especially as it pertained to fitness, was a huge inspiration for me as I developed the Primal Blueprint. Intuitively, it didn’t seem right that humans would willingly submit their bodies to this kind of physical and mental torture. It didn’t make sense. When I asked myself just what the hell was I doing, why I was putting myself through it, I honestly didn’t have a valid answer. I tried to justify it. Believe me, I tried.
“Winning is worth it.”
“Beating the other guys.”
“Setting a PR.”
“Making the Olympics.”
And the best of all: “There’s nothing quite like the feeling of relief right after a race.”
Notice anything? Each and every one of my justifications for continuing to race revolved around the finish line, a hard goal, a destination, a single moment off in the distance. The journey was never even considered. In fact, it was actively ignored and forgotten by design.
It wasn’t always that way. I started out as a kid in rural Maine running for fun with my buddies. I’d run to school. I’d run through the woods. I’d play army games in the forest for days at a time that ranged over miles in every direction. We would run hard, and when we got tired, we would stop until we weren’t. No expectations, no starting blocks, no rules, no winners – this was pure play. Then I got to high school, joined the track team, found that my way of playing translated pretty well to endurance events. I discovered that winning races felt pretty good, and I was pretty good at winning them. What had once been the greatest source of play for me – running – was now a means to an end – winning the race, scoring the points, beating the other guy, making the cut. That I actually enjoy my physical pursuits was immaterial, because I was basically addicted to the winning and the numbers and the records.
Our lives are defined by moments in time, small bits of experience and emotion and sensory input that are fleeting and insubstantial when taken and perceived alone. What I was doing was focusing on just one of those tiny bits of time-space to the exclusion of everything else that led up to it. Winning feels good, for a second. You might even get a trophy or a write up in the paper, but eventually you stop looking at it, and even if you do it’s just a memory of a moment and a feeling – not the moment or the feeling itself. All you can do, then, is create more moments and be present for them. By detaching yourself from the outcome – whether by ignoring it completely, or by not letting it define your self-worth or the worth of the activity – you are free to acknowledge, experience, and enjoy the full spectrum of spacial/temporal/sensory moments that life can offer. In sheer economic terms, you’re getting more (enjoyment, satisfaction, experience) for your money when you detach yourself from the outcome.
If you’ve ever wondered about my focus on play, playing is the best way to teach yourself to enjoy the moment and detach yourself from the outcome, for by its clinical, scientific, objective definition:
Play is purposeless. There is no goal in mind, no destination. There is only the experience of the moment. Otters don’t play to improve their chance at surviving predators or procuring food (in fact, their playing might actually have survival costs in the short-term); children don’t climb jungle gyms and hang upside down from monkey bars to improve their grip and get sweet abs. They do these things because they’re fun. Any tangible benefits are extra.
Play is all-consuming. Real, honest (not half-hearted) play demands your full attention. You’re not thinking about work or bills or what you’re gonna make for dinner that night. You’re fully immersed in the moment. Your only concern lies in getting that ball in that hoop, or getting around your defender, or reading the defense, or figuring out how to get the other guy’s rook without leaving your bishop open to attack. And quickly – just like that! – the situation changes, and your focus along with it. But it always remains honed in on the present moment.
Beyond it being, well, fun, there are practical reasons for incorporating play into your fitness.
You’ll be more active. Humans are ultimately hedonists, and a hedonist is more likely to do a thing that feels good. If exercise is fun and “feels good,” if the “journey” itself compels you, you’re going to end up fitter and more active.
Your training will be more effective. By focusing on the moment – on what your body is actually doing – you will enjoy more powerful and precise neuromuscular engagement. Quite literally, thinking specifically about the movements you’re performing will make those movements more focused, powerful, and effective.
You will reduce injury. I attribute some of my running injuries not just to the sheer volume of my training (overuse), but also to the loss of technique and form that occurs when you try to ignore the act of running. I would focus only on the finish line while trying to block out what my body was undergoing, and in doing so, the quality of my running would suffer.
Now, I don’t want to discount the place of goal-setting. Goals can be helpful for some, and necessary in many situations. I’m not against planning, or thinking ahead, or competing to win. But I caution against allowing your goals to define and control you. And this should go without saying, but don’t do something that makes you avoid the moment. Ultimately, wedding yourself to the goal sets you up for what feels like an EPIC FAIL and crushing disappointment when it isn’t reached while precluding you from enjoying life – enjoying those little seemingly inconsequential moments that lead up to the finish line. And this says nothing of the fact that strict goal setting can keep you from enjoying the end result, however good, if it isn’t exactly what you expected it to be. That is, it can keep you from seeing all the other possibilities that result from the the process you commited to, or the principles you let guide your day-to-day decisions.
Listen, you’re not going to control the outcome by honing in on it to the exclusion of everything else. On the other hand, when you focus on the present (when you think about what your body is doing and what you’re lifting and where you’re landing and how this muscle feels when it’s engaged and the power of the current and the temperature of the water and the blazing sun overhead – all of it!), you’ll likely end up smashing the competition and reaching your destination anyway – without having missed the awesome journey.
Are you able to detach yourself from the outcome? If so, how has it affected your life and your training? If not, do you think you should? I hope you all got something from this post. I don’t expect (or even want) you to quit your jobs and take up full-time hacky sack while dealing patchouli oil on the side, but I do hope that you’ll be able to divorce the outcome (no prenup required) from time to time and learn to be here now.
At least some of the time.
I had a good workout. I picked up a NO Xplode from the gas station because the price with from $3.50 to $1.99 and each shot bottle lasts 2 workouts. I worked out my biceps and triceps and finished with the AB routine Legs told me about.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
I am LOVING doing intense short cardio right now. Before my training ended due to my knee my shortest runs were 5 miles. I have been focused only on endurance running since August. I have not ran an a 5k race since September. I started thinking maybe it would be better for me to run the Big D 5k instead of the Big D Half so I can see how I have improved instead of shooting to run 13.1mi under 1:58 and risk another injury.
Starting the week after the Big D I will be switching to my new Vibram Fivefingers and staring over from scratch working from 0.25mi to 8mi over 10 weeks.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
I did 5 pullps, 5 bicep pull ups, 10 tricep dips, and 10 pushups. I did 3 rounds in 3:51. I left the gym and Ellen was in the parking lot with the dog. I grabbed the leash and we raced to the car. Ellen is pretty fast.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Monday, March 19, 2012
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Friday, March 16, 2012
Intrinsic Motivation: The incentive to undertake an activity based on the expected enjoyment of the activity itself, rather than external benefits that might result.
Extrinsic motivation: The performance of an activity in order to attain an outcome.
The two question are:
What motivated you? (Reasons)
What are your goals? (Results)
In the case of the motivation we need for exercise I believe Extrinsic Motivation is more helpful. You can learn to enjoy the activity and enjoy the "pain".
I made a post-it note that sits in my cubicle in 2008. It says, "Willpower is the spearhead of self-discipline." Then I added a list of words:
Peace, Love, and Respect (Think about these as they apply to your our body and negative thoughts and emotions)
When you learn to live outside of your comfort zone it can become almost addicting. You begin to wonder/think, "alright I did it, what can I do next?"
Me personally, I could have stopped and felt content in September of 2009 when I had my last training session and reached my goal my trainer set of 190lbs. I had just bought a house, I had been dating my girlfriend for 3-4 months, I was about to win $100 in my families biggest loser challenge. I was "comfortable" but I was not satisfied. For 18 months I had been focused on the scale and lost 55-60 pounds but I was not at the shape I had imaged I would be at my goal. I began to search online for a new training plan. I found the workout plan Brad Pit did to get in shape for fight club. I joined bodyspace, the social profile part of bodybuilding.com. I lost another 5 pounds the next month. I bought a body fat monitor and realized I had lost 10 pounds of lean body mass during my weight loss. I searched article upon article about how to gain muscle mass until I came across a bodybuilding.com article called "How I won the 2003 Body-For-Life challenge." I joined the BFL site and posted in October 2009 in the guestbook (pre-forum days) that I was thinking about starting a challenge and someone told me on the . "Make sure to get the book!". Man that book was motivating. It was as if Bill was speaking to me. I decided to start a challenge between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
I think I went on a ramble within a ramble there but my point is to challenge yourself to set realistic measurable goals and think/live outside your comfort zone.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
I got home and did my obstacle course training.
10 fast Pushups
5 flexed arm hang (chin ups)
4 rounds in 7:47
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Monday, March 12, 2012
Friday, March 9, 2012
3-9-12: 169.4 lbs 14.8% body fat
I feel alot leaner than I have ever felt before and since it has been 2 years since I first got under 175 pounds. I took some pictures on March 3, 2o11 to test how far my skin sags at 3 different angles. I decided today to take pictures at the same angles so I can see if I am making progress with my skin tightening up.
My monthly progress pictures from Aug 2011 to Now (excludes December)