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About EricMN

  • Rank
    OCR Jedi Master
  • Birthday 05/10/67


  • Location
    Apple Valley, MN


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  1. EricMN's Jedi Training - Finding the Jedi Master

    Tuesday Back in the saddle; didn't get to run at lunch due to a couple back-to-back meetings, but it was otherwise a Good DayTM. I had a decent day at work, I got to lift, I got to see my not-so-small-anymore monsties, and for the first time in a few weeks, I feel like my head is more or less on straight. We might even be in a for-real thaw here. Goal: Speed Plan: Run at least 3x per week. Result: Nope. Goal: Strength Plan: Strength training 3x per week: Weight training Tuesday, Boot Camp Thursday/Saturday, Grease the Groove pull-up work every day. Result: White Board Heaven. Goal: Skill Plan: Weekly obstacle workout at Obstacle Academy. Result: Not until Friday. Goal: Sustenance Result: KCal: 1512 Protein: 104g Fiber: 26g Sodium: 2320mG Way under, but I wasn't hungry for more. Goal: Sanity I don't think I mentioned it last week before I left for Florida. I had an impromptu sit-down meeting with my boss at work. We talked about my current role, my perceived worth to the team and the impact that the past year has had on my mental health. The Cliff's notes to this talk was that the work I do is recognized by others, my boss sees even the terrible projects I have worked on as huge successes and I need to give myself credit for the work I put in. Also, I received a nice tag in my gym's FB Support Group page from a girl who wound up partnered with me on the same stations on Tuesday. She said lifting with me gave her "added motivation" even though all I did was just go about my work. It was nice to hear. I spend a LOT of time focusing on my breathing, and doing the trail-run scan: eight feet out, shorten to my next step, another eight feet out, back to where my feet are going to land, wash, rinse, repeat for miles. Last weekend, much of the trail was on gravel roads, which allow me to actually look UP and see what's around me, but otherwise it's a lot of looking eight feet in front of me. On race day, when the courses are marked: "Look, that's already Mile 1. Three miles already! Holy crap, is that only mile six? No way that's only Mile 10... Ugh... Mile 12, I think I'm going to die" Also a lot of, "This is just like this stretch on my home trail" or, when I'm running at home, "This is just like this stretch on (insert course here)." Unless I'm out on a course with someone else. Then it's "When I'm done I'm getting dinner: A steak the size of my left thigh, and a slice of cheesecake the size of my head." Hi! I like yours better. I was thinking about this yesterday. I had what was, for me, a pretty bad winter of lackluster training and missed workouts, but I'm still a significantly better athlete than I ever have been. I need to stop complaining about how fat and out of shape I am and think about where I am in relation to where I used to be. A little gratitude might get me a long way. Love this. Yesterday was really a Good DayTM. I feel like I'm finding the Jedi Master.
  2. [Sloth] The Time of the Hammer is Upon Us.

    #relatable Hope the meds are having the desired effect. Still waiting for those DMs to slide. (<-- Did I do that right, or will my 13yo roll her eyes if she reads this over my shoulder?)
  3. therealkat :: Welcome to Night Vale

    Hi. You did almost 10 miles when nothing felt good. How is this giving up? Giving up would have been stopping after maybe 1.55. Not every run is a PR. Listen to this wise woman.
  4. [Wolfpool] Savage

    We saw this on FB. I am crushed for you both. Prayers for your whole family, brother Wolf and sister Princess.
  5. EricMN's Jedi Training - Finding the Jedi Master

    Weekend Recap I'm back home in the not-quite-melted North. It's quite a letdown after the sunshine and warm weather from Florida. I'm not in any hurry to make that drive again. During that drive - almost 24 hours driving over nearly two full days - I had entirely too much time to think about my results from Savage Race on Saturday. I'm going to talk about it here and move on. On the way home, we stopped north of Nashville and had brunch with one of my brothers and his family. I haven't seen them in probably four years, since they moved back down south. It was good to reconnect with them. Made it home Monday before noon, I'm back to eating like someone who cares, and after a visit to the chiropractor to put my body back in place, I'm good to go today at the gym. Time to get focused.
  6. EricMN's Jedi Training - Finding the Jedi Master

    Thanks for the support, y'all. It is always appreciated, and never taken for granted. Mixed results at Savage Race today. Ran Open Waves. Top 33% overall, top 33% age group, top 40% of all males. Not horrible, but I had a massive brain fart with about half a mile to go, took a wrong turn, and wound up running half a mile in the wrong direction. I finally figured it out when I came around a corner and saw four obstacles I'd already completed. Backtracked until I found my error and finished out. It was hot, I am out of race shape, and obviously my head was not in the right place. All things to work on. I'll post pics when I'm home. In a lot of places they're the same trails. I'm going to do reconnaissance at Lebanon Hills across the street from your bike trails this week.
  7. This winter has been pretty rough. I don't remember having seasonal depression like this in a good 7-8 years. Cold, darkness, pain (arthritis) and work-related anxiety have all been pretty hard to handle. Now, slowly but surely, I'm rising from my winter-long withdrawal. It's a bad place for me to be; I am an introvert, and I like my quiet time, but my mental health suffers when I isolate myself. I'm not staying here. I'm not Luke Skywalker and I didn't come here to die. It's time to find myself again. I'm still trying to find my consistency from a training standpoint, but I can't just force-project myself back into goal shape; it takes consistent work, and I need to continue to put in that work, consistently. Main Goal I'll be competing in the 2018 OCR World Championships for the second year in a row. In 2017, I qualified as an age group competitor twice during the season and raced in a group of similarly grey-bearded men. I'll be traveling to the United Kingdom this year to race again, regardless of whether I qualify, and will run as a journeyman if necessary. However, it's my goal to qualify to race against other 50-and-over men again this year, and this time, I don't want to just show up and be happy I'm there, I want to finish closer to the middle of the pack than the back, and I'd like to leave with something more than just a finisher medal and a tee shirt: I want to keep my band. I lost mine on Stairway to Heaven. It was humbling. Most obstacle race series (With the exception of my first OCR love, Spartan Race) expect pro and competitive racers to COMPLETE ALL THE OBSTACLES in order be podium-eligible. Everyone else is an official finisher, but those of me in the other category are not eligible for podiums - overall or age group. To make sure officials can tell who falls into which category, racers get a band, which is removed when one cannot complete an obstacle, usually after multiple attempts. Some race directors take pride in the bands they capture. Freaking Canadians. For the record, I completed this thing at OCRWC after 4-5 attempts. I'm pretty obstacle proficient, and have been for some time, but this year, I'm aiming for 100% completion at the World Championships, and that goal will take consistent work to achieve. Anyone who's been around an EricMN challenge over the last three years knows what they're about to see below: Goal: Speed I have gone from "I'm not a runner" to "I enjoy trail running." The problem is, our trails have been frozen for almost five months and the cold aggravates my psoriatic arthritis. Also I just plain hate the cold. We're having a good thaw right now, but I'm still running on the Dreadmill until I know I won't kill myself on the trails. Last year I hired a running coach to give me a running improvement plan. It works. I'm working back into this plan; right now I'm still building up my mileage from a winter of slacking. "Long" runs are relative. I know this works. Consistency will get me there. Plan: Run a minimum of 3x per week, including 3-mile VO2 max interval training, 3-4 mile lactate threshold training, and weekend long run. Goal: Strength Without consistent strength training, I turn into a limp dishrag. Besides, I enjoy weight training. I need to supplement this with training that includes pull-ups and other raise-my-bodyweight exercises. The group classes I attend don't incorporate pull-ups basically because the instructors and most of the other attendees can't do them and are intimidated by them. I need them because arms, shoulders and back will help with obstacle proficiency and efficiency. Plan: Strength training 3x per week: Weight training Tuesday, Boot Camp Thursday/Saturday, Grease the Groove pull-up work every day. Goal: Skill I've learned over the last four years of competing in Obstacle Course races that while one could probably power their way through many obstacles with sheer strength, there is a certain degree of skill necessary for things like rope climbing and rigs and Devil Steps and zip lines and whatnot. I bought a membership to Obstacle Academy, and they just finished a remodel. It's time to get on this. Plan: Weekly obstacle workout at Obstacle Academy. Have a specific training plan every time instead of just going in and goofing around on the toys. Goal: Sustenance I lost a bunch of weight five years ago by tracking my nutritional macros and I've kept it off by doing the same. I've occasionally dropped five to ten pounds in between that has not stayed off because when I'm not tracking macros, I eat junk. Right now I look more like Kung Fu Panda in my race jerseys than I want to admit. Plan: Log my food daily. Stick to my macros. Goal: Sanity This is even more important right now than it was last time around. Work is a hot mess and I'm along for the ride. This is not a quantifyable, SMART goal, but it's on the list to remind me to be mindful and spend some time in self-care daily. Starting Line I Race. I do it because I enjoy it. A bad day on an obstacle course is still the happiest day of my week. I've got two race weekends bookending this challenge cycle: Savage Race Florida, March 17 Wheel World, my nemesis. We meet again. I really like Savage Race. It's obstacle-dense at around 30 obstacles over 6-7 miles. Any course in Florida is by definition going be pretty flat. These are things that work in my favor in the Open Waves. Based on both Spring and Fall results from 2017, I have a legit shot at an OCRWC Age Group qualifying finish. Seattle Spartan Super and Sprint, April 14-15 Jesus, that jersey was too small for me. Also, I miss that bandana. I loved this venue when I did it back in 2015. The course is fairly flat and runs out along the Snohomish River, which is gorgeous. Also, I will be visiting my middle daughter, who moved to Seattle a year ago. Best of all, she and one of her friends will be on-course, volunteering during the weekend. I'm glad the jerseys stand out so she can see me as I shuffle on through. The Sprint race on Sunday is another legit shot at a qualifying time. It's been a long winter of self-imposed semi-isolation. I'm ready for it to be over.