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Found 7 results

  1. The last challenge was a brilliant flame-out. I went in with the idea that I was going to leap directly into training for 2018, but due to work stress, illness and just lack of personal dedication, the entire challenge cycle was basically a bust. I feel like I'm turning into Luke Skywalker, retreating from the universe to basically hide on a personal sorrow planet of sulky solitude. Anyone who knows me knows that while the Master of the New Jedi Order may be the hero of that galaxy far, far away, he's not the man I want to be. I find him fragile, whiny, and sulky. A man who runs away to hide on Ahch-To after the fall of his Jedi Order to the Knights of Ren is not the kind of Jedi that I would want to be. Sadly, I've only run twice in the past month when my goal is at least three times per week, and I've gained eight pounds since Worlds due to poor fitness habits and eating like the fat man I used to be. Following that path won't allow me to reach my personal goals. Main Goal I am, in theory, training to qualify for the 2018 OCR World Championships, which will be held in England in October. I'll be going regardless - I should be able to register as a Journeyman qualifier by March - but just like 2017, I want to earn my spot through competition as an age-group competitor, and I'd love to post a better finish this coming year as well, now that I have an understanding of what it takes to qualify and what I'm up against when I get there. That said, I'm fighting a couple pretty imposing opponents: age and arthritis. This year, I became part of the "50 and over" age group. Advancing age does crappy things to recovery time, and I can't ignore this. But I can't use it as an excuse. I know several men in my OCR group over 50 who make me look absolutely sedentary. Also, in July of this year, the psoriatic arthritis that I've known was lurking around the corner decided to jump out and attack my knees with a vengeance. I'm at the point where I can tolerate the symptoms and still get in my work, but I will have to be smart, and take care of myself, in order to reach my goals. And while I want to take care of my body and train toward my goal and enjoy racing until I can't do it anymore, I need to remember that I am one 50-year-old man, and not a small army of people half my age. I am scheduled to the absolute max even on non-event weeks, and if I don't do something to take care of myself both mentally and physically, things tend to get very bad very quickly. Goal: Swifter I made a ton of progress here in 2017 and I hope it hasn't all been lost over the past three months. My gains were due to volume (mileage) and programming (speed work). My most obvious issue with remaining consistent here is due to knee pain. Pavement running is painful enough that I don't even want to think about it, and treadmill running is objectively horrible. I love running on trails - I enjoy the quiet and the chance it affords to get away from the rest of my world, and the softer ground hurts less - but now it's winter in Minnesota and I hate winter. I either need to suck it up and get on the treadmill, or I need to suck it up and get on a trail, and I need to do it four times per week, with an absolute minimum of 17 miles per week. Goal: Run four times per week per training plan. Goal: Stronger I attend three classes per week at my gym: two Boot Camp classes and one weightlifting class. This has continued to be a challenge goal as most races happen on Saturdays, and one of my boot camp classes happens on Saturday morning. It's easy to decide to drop While I would perhaps program each of the classes differently, the fact that it's out of my hands is a good thing. I wind up doing things that I wouldn't choose for myself (burpees, box step-ups, lunges, etc.) and so it remains a goal for this challenge. I will be on vacation starting the middle of Week Two, but I have a Personal Training background and can come up with a plan for the Thursday workout. Goal: Strength training three times per week. Goal: Smaller This is my battle against the Dark Side. I have struggled with my weight and my waistline for my entire adult life. Five years ago, I weighed 260 pounds at just under 5ft10in. Through exercise and proper nutrition, I lost between 60 and 70lbs, depending on where I am on a given day. I know what my macros are and I know what the good, whole foods are that make them up. I need to stay on this, every day, and to help with this, I'm going to really simplify things until I get into a groove I can handle. I've been stressing over daily micro-management of macros between run days, strength days and rest days for months, and I've been working at a calorie deficit for the majority of the past three years with very little to show for it around my waist. I'm going to take one stress item off my plate by standardizing my plate: KCal: 2,100 Protein: 125g Carbs: 175g Sodium: 2,800mG Goal: Stick to my macros. Log daily. Goal: Saner I need to keep this on the list for the foreseeable future. Meditation, prayer, alone time, whatever, but it needs to be 30 minutes per day, every day, and cannot be a workout or a run. I NEED this to keep myself centered and sane when my schedule gets overloaded and I get stressed-out and things go sideways. Goal: 30 minutes of quiet time per day. I've got two 10k road runs coming up during zero weekend that I am absolutely not looking forward to, and I've got a Spartan Beast in Florida after Week Two. The Spartan will close out my second Spartan Trifecta of 2017 and will be my 9th Trifecta in three years. For all the whinging I feel like I've done over the past month, I need to keep sight of the fact that I've changed myself from morbidly-obese, borderline hypertensive, borderline diabetic into something else entirely. Here's to a better challenge.
  2. Main Goal On October 14, 2017, I participated as an Age Group competitor at the Obstacle Course Racing World Championships. It was an amazing experience, an emotional high, and the hardest thing I have ever done to date. The mountain climbs were excruciating, the descent in the rain treacherous, and the obstacles appropriately difficult for a world-championship event. While I'm generally pleased with how my run went, I'm not satisfied. I finished the course and attempted every obstacle. I failed several on the back third of the course due to both poor weather conditions and poor physical conditioning. I can do better. And I'm not waiting until 2018 to start. Next Year starts now. For the first time this year, I have no scheduled events during a challenge cycle. That means it's time to set specific, concrete training goals that will help me to perform better in 2018 than I did in 2017. I'm fighting against a couple pretty big and imposing opponents: age, and arthritis. This year, I advanced to the "50 and over" age group, and in July psoriatic arthritis decided to rear its ugly head by attacking my knees with a vengeance. I'm at the point where I can tolerate the symptoms and still get in my work, but I will have to be smart, and take care of myself, in order to implement my goals. Finally, I need to remember that I am one 50-year-old man, and not a small army of people half my age. I am scheduled to the absolute max even on non-event weeks, and if I don't do something to take care of myself both mentally and physically, things will get bad very quickly. Goal: Speed At 40 I had the cardio health scores of a dead man; now at 50, I have decent cardio health, but am still working on speed and endurance. Arthritis makes this hard, but it's still something I can do. Road running just flat-out hurts afterward - I am NOT looking forward to my two Thanksgiving weekend 10K runs - but trail running is much softer on the joints and I absolutely love the quiet and serenity. I have a training plan, given to me by my teammate and coach, Josh. We talked about it this last weekend riding the gondola to the top of the mountain at OCRWC. It works. It's made me faster than I ever have been. It's time to get back to focusing on the plan. Goal: Run three times per week per my training plan. Goal: Strength OCRWC showed me that while I am generally strong enough for most events, I still need work on grip strength, strength endurance, and upper-body strength. Fortunately, I love my strength classes at my gym, and getting back into the habit of maintaining a more consistent schedule will help me with the results I want to see. Goal: Strength training classes (weightlifting, boot camp) three times per week - Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Goal: Small I made progress here this year, but I've got a ways to go to get the body I want. Running consistently will help, but if there's a singular truth that applies to fitness and weight loss, it's this: I can't outrun my fork. I know my macros, and while macros are pretty accurate at getting me to where I want to be, I've been playing fast and loose with the composition of those macros, and it has shown. Cheap proteins and simple carbs make me bloat and get stored as fat by my body really easily. Aside from sticking to my macros, I need to make solid food choices as well: lean proteins, complex carbs, and plenty of steamed vegetables. Loosely-based on IIFYM calculator Goal: Log all food intake, and report daily Goal: Sanity I'm over-scheduled, Period, Full Stop. I use my gym routines and the running routine I want to establish to take back a bit of that sanity, but as a training regimen starts to form, it will just be one more thing on my plate. This means that every day, I will need to carve out 15 to 30 minutes of time for just me. Away from the work pager, away from my computer, social media, away from my phone, away from my gym shoes and my running shoes and my kids and my GF and the stupid cats and just everything else. That may be a short walk in the evening or a small meditation or something similar. Goal: 15-30 minutes of solitude daily I actually thought long and hard about just maintaining a Battle Log going forward since the last year was mostly what you see here as far as goals and the next year will be just a continuation of the same, but running a challenge at least keeps me moderately accountable to my amazing Rebels and if it's not broke, I'm not fixing it. Thanks for helping me stay the course.
  3. OBSTACLE COURSE RACING (OCR) FANATICS Welcome! This group is for anyone who is training for an OCR, is interested in participating in an OCR in the future, or are just plain obsessed with obstacle racing! This is place for us to all talk incessantly about OCR, share tips on training, ask advice about gear obstacle technique, or even just let everyone know about your latest OCR or Mud Run. Pop your name and current challenge or battle log link on the sheet below so we can cheer each other on in our quest for OCR glory. Accountability Sheet
  4. I know there are quite a few people on Nerd Fitness that enjoy Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) / mud runs and some that want to give one a try. There’s been some discussion on my challenge about some of us meeting up next year to do an OCR somewhere in Europe. At the moment, there is a bit of interest in meeting up in Amsterdam in April next year to do Toughest, an 8 kilometer OCR. So I thought I’d open this up and see if anyone else was interested in meeting up for some muddy obstacle fun! Toughest Amsterdam is taking place on the Saturday 15th April, so there’s a possibility of making this a weekend Nerd Fitness meetup. If some people don't want to do the race and just want to meet up (spectators / cheerleaders welcome), we can arrange an evening get together after the race or for the following day. All ideas welcome as I know nothing about Amsterdam (other than the obvious!) Please don’t be put off by the name if the event! It will be something that newbies will be able to complete, and we'll be an awesome team of unstoppable nerds! No one will get left behind. Of course, I’d love to get as many of us as possible together, so if there are any other obstacle races or interesting running events around Europe or in the UK that people would like to look at meeting up for instead, post them here and maybe we can do something that suits the majority. Though, if we could avoid anything around May, that would be really helpful for me! I really hope we can get a big group of us together for some muddy shenanigans!
  5. Deep in the mountains of the north stands a castle known to all. Over it lords the most evil of humans and with his power, he seeks to control all. There is only one way to ensure his downfall. You must steal the gem that gives him his magic. If you should fail, we will all be doomed. - Nanurius The above is a message I found earlier today outside of my door. I'm guessing it was delivered by an owl because that is the only form of delivery that makes sense given the generic fantasy cheesiness of it. It was handwritten with what appears to be a quill (or at least a fountain pen) on a thick parchment-esque type paper. Honestly? I didn't even realize they still made that kind of stuff today. Do wizards (I mean really - what else could a guy called Nanurius be with a name like that?) not know about email, texting, WhatsApp? It also included a map with a handwritten message to follow the trail into the dark forest (seems safe) and to meet up with ROAR (lions? tigers? bears? Really Obviously Awesome Rorschachs?) for training. Idk man, seems legit (#sarcasm). But because something about this compels me to check it out and because I have zero sense of self preservation sometimes, I'm gonna see what its about. Worst case scenario? I run into a bunch of guys hunting Pokemon and looking like phone eating zombies. Best case scenario? Well, I guess I could save us "all" - that would look pretty good on a resume: "Saver of the world from a tyrannical demon overlord". I can see the hiring managers now. But really. I'm bored, looking for an adventure, and I could always use some time in nature. Let's go find ROAR.
  6. Any fellow Spartans around? I finally did my first Spartan Sprint (Dallas 2014) and loved it! Can't wait for the next one. I'm shooting for the Trifecta in 2015.
  7. I ran my first Spartan Race in January of this year. Shortly after that I learned what the Ultra Beast was (26+ miles, 50+ obstacles in the mountains of Vermont), and shortly after that I registered for the race, knowing it would be the hardest physical thing I have ever done. One could argue I'm not good at moderation, or elevating up my race distances in a logical way. Now with the race less than two months out, I have no more room for half assing my training or nutrition. It's time to get serious, put on my big girl pants and put everything I've got towards finishing this race. This challenge comes at a perfect time, and ends just as my taper should start. For the next six weeks I will be focusing on only two things: 1) Training: - Complete all workouts as prescribed by coach. - Spend 15mins a day foam rolling, stretching or working on recovery. 30+ mins on rest days (can include epsom salt or ice baths). 2) Nutrition: - Paleo with some allowances - corn, white rice, high quality cheese used to meet macros and for carb refueling. - NO - Sugar, honey, sweetener of any kind, processed foods, desserts (even "paleo desserts"). - For the first three weeks I can have 1-2 drinks ONCE a week, after that no-alcohol until the race. For this challenge there will be no grades, it's only pass or fail. I know it will be incredibly challenging at times, but for only 6 weeks I know I can handle this. There are harder things in life than training and eating strictly. I admit that this is not a sustainable way to train or eat, and were I just aiming for general fitness my rules for myself would be much less strict. However, with only a few short weeks to put the finishing touches on my race prep, I'm willing to sacrifice normalcy for a finishers medal at the Ultra Beast. Bonus Quests: - Train with race day foods, and detail the items that I will carry with me on the first leg of the race as well as the items that will be included in my drop bin. - Plan out and train in race day clothing (including alternate options for inclement or extreme weather situations).
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