EricMN

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About EricMN

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    OCR Jedi Master
  • Birthday 05/10/1967

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    Apple Valley, MN

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    ranger

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  1. EricMN

    therealkat :: Monster Hunter

    "Went to hell"? Sounds more like "Went on a fun mini-vacation" to me.
  2. EricMN

    EricMN's Jedi Training - Passion, yet serenity

    Weekend Update Friday night I saw Ant Man and the Wasp with the fam. It was a fun movie. As a comic book nerd growing up, I have enjoyed the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe so far. I think they could even figure out a non-horrible way to do Howard the Duck at this point. ... maybe. Saturday was my first Tough Mudder. I had completed *checks spreadsheet* 50 Obstacle Course Races, including 9 Spartan Trifectas, since 2014, but due to scheduling conflicts had never done a Tough Mudder. What a blast. My Mud Brother Ed and I ran together for the first time since last year's Rugged Maniac in September. We ran the Full Mudder and did NOT participate in the timed, competitive Tougher Mudder wave. We ran across more than a dozen of my North Star Spartans teammates. We spent a ton of time in the mud pits at Mud Mile during both laps of the course. We passed the big group from my gym at Lumberjacked. Molly, who owns my gym, yelled "TRAITOR" as I ran past and I thought I was doing pretty well not to shout out that she shouldn't have cancelled my Fit Fathers group. Lots of the obstacles were challenging and fun. I tore my hand open on Funky Monkey but still managed to complete it. After that, I failed on Just The Tip because my hand was bleeding and burning and I decided enough was enough for one weekend. I liked that many of the obstacles are designed to require teamwork to compete, it made it a fun time and I had a great time right up until the end. My GF had been spectating and doing course photography of our NSS team. Temps were in the low 90s, it was very humid, she didn't wear sunscreen or a hat, and she didn't drink anything while she was out on the course for almost four hours. I forced her into the medical tent where she received medical attention that eventually led to an IV before she was cleared to leave. They didn't let her walk back to our car but provided a ride on one of the carts that staff buzzes around the course in. Sunday was a full recovery day, although I spent five hours moving the real heavy stuff for a garage sale my church is having next weekend. All in all, a great weekend, and a good kickoff to three straight weekends of OCR. Next up: Conquer the Gauntlet in Iowa, where I'll be shooting for my second year qualifying for OCR World Championships. I guarantee that my ex-wives would disagree with you. The mountain bike trails are away from the main running and hiking trails so that we don't get in y'all's way. Mountain bikes are in the brown square to the west ("Detail" from the main park map), bordered by Galaxie Avenue and Johnny Cake Road on the West and East, respectively. I almost always start at the Jensen Lake Trailhead, off Pilot Knob Road. There's a public campground in between. It might be fun to do a Nerd weekend there. Good timing is proof of your Force powers. Next year we should get a big bunch of Nerds out to Tough Mudder. Hammer Race has tougher terrain and the obstacles are intended for groups to work together. It would be fun. I acquiesce to the joint authority and the logic presented here. Also, @Xena, are you suggesting that if I'm that close to communing with nature that I'm only steps away from becoming a Disney princess? Because I'm totally good with that.
  3. EricMN

    EricMN's Jedi Training - Passion, yet serenity

    Thursday If my Wednesday was "live to fight another day" by not risking my health and running during dangerously hot conditions, then Thursday was a bad decision of Star Wars Holiday Special proportions. Boot Camp at 6 am was a requested "light workout" because over a dozen people from my gym will be attending Tough Mudder and evidently they're all freaked out about it. I didn't feel like I got a lot out of it, and was feeling a bit underwhelmed after not running Lebanon Hills on Wednesday, and decided to try to run about 3m at my local trail on my way home from work. This would have been a decent decision had the temps and heat index not been as bad, if not worse, than the day before. Everything about this run was just off. About a quarter of a mile in, I almost stepped on a wild turkey chick as it crossed the trail, nearly underfoot. It shrieked in terror before disappearing into the tall grass. Then its mother popped her head up and stared me down with an evil eye... Then at about Mile 1, I about had a heart attack when a squirrel launched itself into my path, freaked out, jumped a foot in the air, and beat tracks back into the woods... Finally, about 1.5 miles in, after I had already gone through one of my two bottles of water and electrolytes on my belt, I decided to short-cut my planned run by about three-quarters of a mile, took the shortcut path, and shuffled/trudged back to my car. My energy was completely sapped and the sweat was pouring off my body. I would have been less soaked had I gone swimming. About 30 minutes after I got home, a major storm ripped through, the temps dropped by 30 degrees, and the whole evening became just a reminder of how I am still prone to bad decisions. At least I stayed hydrated. Run 2.67 terrible miles. See my horror story above. Be Strong Boot Camp. Nutrition KCal: 2284 Protein: 127g Fiber: 29g Sodium: 3836mG. Mostly high due to massive doses of electrolytes during and after run Tomorrow is Tough Mudder. It's been raining - sometimes heavily - since dinner time Thursday. This should be a muddy blast. Course Map. Be jealous, Mudders. Actually, this could be a fun thing - meet up at Leb Hills and see how many laps of the bike trail on the west side you can get in while I do one lap of the running trails on the east side. Let's not do that until the ambient temps are below the killing range, though. Thank you, Chaplain. I hope my tale of the dumb above didn't disappoint.
  4. EricMN

    DrFeelgood - July

    I live this daily, my friend.
  5. EricMN

    EricMN's Jedi Training - Passion, yet serenity

    Wednesday Thanks for the kind words, y'all. They make what comes next easier. I opted out of my 7-miler last night. The heat index was hovering around 95degF. and this wasn't a ~race~ for me, it was a training run. I just couldn't make myself do it. I have a bad taste in my mouth for not at least attempting to run, but I don't necessarily feel bad about it. I will make my peace. Run Nope. Be Strong Rest Day. My right triceps and elbow are barking right now. I did get back in the gym this morning. I'm trying to be smart. Nutrition KCal: 2473 Protein: 129g Fiber: 27g Sodium: 3592mG Thank you. Stick around, even though I opted out for safety reasons last night, I have lots of "I'm not particularly happy with my place in the pack" runs coming up to keep you going. Seriously, though thank you. It means a lot to have my Personal Favorite RunnerTM say kind things like this. Thank you for sharing this. I'm working hard to find the good that will come out of it. I'll keep working until I find it.
  6. EricMN

    The UnChallenge: Tanktimus Continues

    I haven't said it yet, but I'm over here, cheering you on, my friend. These are wise words. Self-awareness and mindfulness are really important when dealing with emotional issues. Twenty-plus years of therapy and therapy support of my children (who are now adults) and I still need work drumming this into my own brain. You're a wise man if you're doing this as consistently as it sounds. I don't suggest you do pills. I have someone very close to me that did that, with the expected positive result, but had the other expected result when the pills went away. HIIT will absolutely help you with your cardiopulmonary health. Incorporating HIIT with your weight training will accelerate the progress to your weight loss goals. I'm a firm advocate. Both solid suggestions and both also incorporate plenty of motions that will help to build a strong core. However, I can't think of a single drawback to swinging a sledgehammer in potentially-tight spaces.
  7. EricMN

    therealkat :: Monster Hunter

    Solidarity, kat. Also, not dying is a solid challenge goal.
  8. EricMN

    EricMN's Jedi Training - Passion, yet serenity

    Tuesday Another Good DayTM. Run 2.5 miles easy miles to stretch out and let my legs recover from the last two days of morning workouts in advance of tonight's 7-mile trail run. Be Strong 6 am lift. Nutrition KCal: 1860 Protein: 142g Fiber: 27g Sodium: 2885mG. Could have had another scoop of protein powder in my shake. Tonight is a 7-mile trail run at my local training trail. (Yes, I'm paying to run on a trail that I just ran for free on Sunday.) When I registered for this all the way back in February I figured I would be comfortable stretching a mid-week run to 7 miles without dying. I didn't foresee practically re-starting from scratch after pneumonia in June or that today's weather includes a heat advisory with temps in the mid-90s and a heat index that will rise to nearly 105degF. The heat index will still be at least 90degF at gun time. I'll wear my hydration pack for the first time in over a year tonight and won't be worried if I finish in last place, which, if Sunday's run is any indication, is a real possibility. I'll play it smart, though, and if worst comes to worst and the heat gets me, I will drop out at the aid station and call someone to come drive me home. I'm not going to put my health in jeopardy over a run. (Says the guy who ran Spartan with pneumonia. #whattayagonnado.)
  9. EricMN

    The UnChallenge: Tanktimus Continues

    I always pick the worst best hungriest times to visit Tank threads. *effmacros*
  10. EricMN

    therealkat :: Monster Hunter

    So I'm finally caught up with you. Bummed I missed you at Warrior Dash. You are 100% on message as to what the hardest thing is about divorce. And your cosplay is still on point.
  11. EricMN

    [DarK_RaideR] pays his tribute

    I tried to learn how to moonwalk for like two years in the mid-80s. It was... bad. This is the stuff, right here. This is why I mark out.
  12. EricMN

    EricMN's Jedi Training - Passion, yet serenity

    Monday Thank you all for the kind words. It means a great deal to know that somebody cares. The day started off weird. I tried to schedule a meeting with my boss to review a document that I hadn't sent her. Fortunately she understands who she is dealing with. I'm nearly positive that with different management, I'd have moved on long ago, by my own decision or otherwise. Run Recovery day after Sunday's beat-down in the heat. Be Strong Boot Camp in the morning. Nutrition KCal: 2434 Protein: 143g Fiber: 33g Sodium: 3341mG Chipotle for dinner put me a little over everything, but otherwise it's not a bad day. You know, I could wear it to the starting line and then hand it off to my GF/pit crew. Hm. *And thus begins Eric's descent into hours of distraction shopping for a Jedi robe...* Decent start to the week. Let's see if we can keep it rolling.
  13. EricMN

    [DarK_RaideR] pays his tribute

    Sorry to hear that. Take care of you, please. I love a good Evil Team melee, but Eyeless Vidmar there needs a good skull-busting.
  14. EricMN

    EricMN's Jedi Training - Passion, yet serenity

    The "Let's Get This Thing Started" Update Thank you, my friends, for your kindness and support. Last week was hard, but I was not the one who became one with the Force. I responded in what is evidently my own way. Run I got in three runs: On Monday, when I found out that my friend was gone, it hit me hard. I had a friend text me and say that they were going to get hammered in order to deal with it. I dealt with it in my own way, which meant leaving work early and running roughly 4 trail miles. I don't wear headphones or listen to music when I run; It's just me, the breeze through the trees, the occasional other runners, and whatever animals I happen to come across out there. Typically it's birds and squirrels and chipmunks. There are the occasional deer and wild turkeys. Last week it was frogs - hundreds and hundreds of little peepers, only recently grown out of their polliwog tails, crossing the path from one pond to another. On Wednesday, I met my North Star Spartans friends and teammates at the ski hill and did 3.1 miles with about 700 feet of climb. I spent a good mile-plus on the back trails stretching out my legs between climbs. I hate that I feel like I'm starting over again. On Sunday, I went to the big trail at noon and did six slow, hot, humid, uninspiring miles. Everything hurt. I had eaten terribly and slept like crap for two days prior, and my lungs and legs are not where they were a month ago. It was miles. I'm going to need them to get back to where I'm going. Be Strong I got in two Boot Camp workouts, one Tuesday and one Thursday. Nutrition I ate like crap. I did not track my macros. I'm pushing that button today. Saturday sucked. We put my friend in the ground; I was a pallbearer. It was an atypically beautiful July day - there was almost no humidity and the temps were cool enough to keep me from dying in my "Tribute to Men in Black" suit, complete with shades. People ugly-cried in church the next day as well when we sang some of Jeff's favorite music. Also I was reminded that I need to see the Mr. Rogers documentary, because evidently I have not shed enough tears in public recently. So, yeah, last weekend took a lot out of me, but evidently "resolve" is a self-replenishing resource. and I'll need it to get back where I'm going. I'm probably not going to wear Jedi robes when I get there, though, where I'm going calls more for compression clothing...
  15. I'm recovered from last month's bout with pneumonia, and I've been attempting to write this challenge post for over a week, but every time I started, something came up. Last week, it was a big something: my good friend, Jeff, passed away after a series of strokes and cardiac episodes. Jeff would have been 55 this month. Jeff was an amazing musician. He was a choir director with the Osman Shrine here in town. He was our church's Worship Leader and a tremendously talented tenor in the choir. He was an amazing guitar player. He loved music enough that he was willing to pay to play - there's something called Rock Camp for Dads here in town that he was part of where he would get together with, as he put it, "Other old fat bald guys who still dream about rocking out." (Plenty of kick-ass women, too, btw.) Jeff is the guy in the vest on the left. I gave him the guitar. He refurbished it and made it something new and amazing. I missed his last jam concert in February. I won't have an opportunity to see another. One of the things, besides music, that we talked about was health and fitness. He met me after my transformation from sick couch potato into... whatever it is I am now. He told me that he had struggled for years with food and weight and high blood pressure and bad cholesterol and diabetes, and that watching me, one of his peers, do the things I do, inspired him to change. He dropped a noticeable amount of weight. He shared that his doctor was pleased with his blood numbers and that they were the best they had been in years. As surprised as I am that people care one bit about what I do, I was glad to have some positive impact in the life of my friend... ... and still, tomorrow, I will be his pallbearer. I'll hug his family that he left behind, his wife of 23 years and his soon-to-be 15-year-old son. And I will make sure that I honor his memory the best way I know how: to continue to work, to push myself, to stay healthy, and make damned sure that I do not leave my family behind in the same manner, while hopefully being that same kind of inspiration to someone else along the way. Here's my formula: Run At least 3x/week. I need a weekend long run and at least one day with at least 1,000ft of elevation. The trails are a great source of peace for me. Be Strong I like my morning gym classes: 4x/week, Boot Camp or weights. Working out gives me a great sense of peace. Nutrition I know my macros: Race I race because I love it. Also I'm pretty good at Obstacle Racing. I've got three during this cycle: Tough Mudder, 14 July I've never done a Tough Mudder before. I'm looking forward to a fun day with my friends on the course. I don't know that I'll do the electroshock obstacles, because I'm not into pain, you can't train to get better at them, and they just seem like an excuse for the race organizers to hurt people. Conquer the Gauntlet, 21 July This is my best chance to qualify for OCR World Championships in October in the UK. I've got just over two weeks to get my legs under me and do some technical obstacle training. I'll know by the end of the month whether I'm registering in the journeyman wave or as an age group competitor. Savage Race, 28 July Another championship qualifier race, but I don't fare as well in longer distances and with the layoff from pneumonia I've lost some juice. Still, Savage Race is probably the best in the business right now and I wouldn't miss it if given a choice. I stopped posting all the race photos to my social media feed sometime during my 5x Spartan Trifecta a couple years back because it just seemed overtly self-absorbed. I'll start cherry-picking the good ones, because if what I do inspires even even one more of my friends to make healthy changes and keeps them from leaving this plane too soon, then it's worth it. Be good to each other, y'all. When friends offer to get together, say yes when you can. Live life fully. Inspire others. Find your passion, and your peace.