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  1. Main Goal This is it. At the end of this challenge, I'll be traveling to Blue Mountain, Ontario, 12 October to 15 October for the 2017 OCR World Championships. I qualified as an Age Group competitor during the Spartan Sprint in Illinois in June, and will be competing in Saturday's 15k Standard Course race in the 50-and-over Age Group. I spent almost a full year building toward this race, but like in years past, I am coming into the fall season at less than my peak. Unlike previous years, however, my issues are not due to injury, but to my now-constant running companion, knee pain of varying intensity due to psoriatic arthritis. I'm coming to grips with this development, and learning when to be smart and back off, and when to push through. First, according to my doctor, the best thing I can be doing is moderate exercise. Now, he and I have a differing opinion on what constitutes "moderate," but that's a different argument. Second, I almost never experience pain while I'm exercising (especially if I'm smart and use KT tape on my knees). Pain comes later, so what I'm really dealing with is post-activity pain management. Knowing those things, and knowing that I now have five weeks until I step into the gate, here's my challenge: Goal: Run so that I don't finish last I've used my knee pain for a crutch for a good two months now, and either I need to come to grips with finishing dead last at Worlds and potentially being pulled from the course as a DNF, or I have to start running with intent. I have five weeks to build up some proficiency here, and I'm not starting from scratch. Goal: Run a minimum of four days per week. Must include a long run (7+ miles) on the weekend. Goal: Work Out so I don't lose my grip This is a World Championship course. They are bringing in signature obstacles from literally all over the world (Dragon's Back, Urban Sky, others I won't know about until they are confirmed) that will include at least one long, miserable uphill carry. Last year's race included a half-mile Wreck Bag carry up and down a Black Diamond run and the US OCR Championships at the beginning of this month had a Yoke Carry that people said was a quarter mile of misery. I need to keep up my strength. There will also be a good five or six rigs. I'm pretty proficient at rings and bars and whatnot but vertical grips get me. I've got five weeks to fix the fail here. I haven't abandoned my Grease the Groove pull-up work, but I need to modify it to include towel pull-ups: Goal: Strength Training Classes 2x per week. This includes both weight training and boot camp. Goal: 16 pull-ups per day, at least 8 with the towel Goal: Eat so that I look good in my jersey This may sound ridiculous and vain, but I'm really worried about this. I ordered one of the USA team jerseys from Legendborne, because while I plan on being able to compete in this sport for a long time, age and arthritis are catching up with me and who knows where the event will be held next year, whether I will qualify, or whether my body will be physically able to handle it. So I dove in and ordered one of these. All reports say that they fit tighter than my North Star Spartans jersey, and I have two of those and my GF doesn't prefer my tight-fit style. Legendborne doesn't have a loose-fit option, so I'm going to get something that fits tight like the above, only it won't come with the pre-sculpted six-pack as shown in the image above. My jersey will be here before the start of this challenge and I'm worried it's going to fit like a sausage casing. I'd be completely screwed, but I know what works for me as far as macros and weight loss, and I will be focusing on cutting weight over the next five weeks in order to meet my goal of not looking like I'm going to burst the seams on this thing: Goal: Be at or under my macro goals every day. Goal: Be accountable and Don't Give Up This challenge will be bracketed by Rugged Maniac on the Saturday of Week Zero and end with OCRWC on Saturday of Week Four. I have to stay accountable or I will not meet my goals for this year. This means no disappearing from the boards here. Y'all can't hold me accountable if I ghost out of here. Especially since my challenge recap should conclude with me holding one of these: It won't be gold as that's a podium place... but I want mine. Five Weeks of No Excuses.
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