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EricMN

EricMN Takes a Hard Look in the Mirror

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bonfire.gif

 

Main Goal

 

Well... nevermind.

 

In the last 28 days I have both qualified for OCR World Championships in October, and then watched it be taken away.

 

If you don't want to listen to a middle-aged white man whine like and impotent little bitch about things that are the epitome of first-world problems, just skip the spoiler and move on.

Spoiler

In 2010 my then-wife informed me she wanted a divorce. I moved out. Through the divorce settlement I was saddled with between $50K and $70K in consumer debt with no asset value that I was required to pay off; bankruptcy would have landed me in contempt of court and likely jail. For the next three-plus years, I lived in other peoples' basements, sharing what were effectively very small studio apartments with my two small kids. In 2013 I moved into a small rental condo. We're coming up on five years here. In late 2016 I paid off the last of the legacy debt from the divorce and began to rescue my credit and start building some cash reserves in preparation for purchasing a home.

 

My GF and I had been targeting this fall to buy a home. For two years we had discussed a plan. I was looking to go with something very modest, a townhouse with enough room for everyone that wouldn't cost an arm and a leg, wouldn't dramatically change our monthly finances, and equally importantly would keep me out of the business of lawn mowing and snow removal from which I have been blissfully removed since I moved out of my brother's place in 2012. It would allow us to continue to do the things we enjoy - my Youth Group volunteer and Mission work, travel, racing - and potentially make a retirement home purchase within the next year in Florida that we could turn into a 9-month AirBnB rental and begin to make passive income to prepare us for a someday retirement.

 

We started the mortgage approval process in late July in anticipation of having an idea of what we could afford before my lease came up for renewal. Unfortunately we're in a very competitive seller's market, with almost no for-sale inventory, and those that are on the market are winding up in a bidding war. Fast-forward to last week...

 

... when my GF found "the perfect place". The location is perfect - the kids would stay in the same school district and it's a great neighborhood. But it's a 5br house and it's $70K more than I wanted to spend. Before I could put the brakes on, she had scheduled a showing with an agent. Honestly, it's perfect for now. It has plenty of updates and needs almost no work, and it's not only big enough for us and my two teenagers, but she also would like my older son and my grandson to move in with us "because it would be perfect for them". And she made an offer, and then somehow upped the amount we would make as a down payment to an amount that not only would wipe out my savings - some of which had been earmarked for us to travel to the UK for OCRWC - but goes beyond what we have on hand and forces us to borrow to make the purchase.

 

And I hate the front exterior, I think it's ugly.

 

TL;DR: I'm buying a house, I feel I've been forced into a purchase that exceeds what I wanted in both property and price, and the deal wipes me out financially.

 

After a year of planning and saving, I won't be competing at OCRWC this year.

 

I will come to peace with this.

burnitwithfire.gif

 

Now I need to figure out what I'm going to do with myself for the balance of the year. It's time for a good, hard look in the mirror. I have gained weight, lost strength, and when I race I'm relying on technique and straight guts to push my finishes. Last weekend in at the Spartan Stadium Race in St. Louis, I put up my worst placement finish in over two years in a race shorter than eight miles. There's reasons for this, and the two main ones are right out in the open.

 

20180811_StL01.jpg


First, yes, that's a brace on my right elbow. I've had issues with it since early June and it's not tied to any specific incident or injury; the pain just came on over time, became unbearable while working on the projects we built in Tennessee, and while I've been smart and doing no work with that arm since then (outside the obstacle races I ran), it's not improving. My chiropractor, who specializes in rehabilitation treatment, hasn't been able to make any real progress with it. My internist has forwarded me to rheumatology for treatment for my psoriatic arthritis, but I won't be able to get in for another month. 

 

Second - and most importantly - that's a LOT of extra weight I'm carrying around my middle. I felt like we ate our way through St. Louis last weekend. On race day I felt bloated and uncomfortable. I was slow and unable to move explosively, and while I failed only one obstacle, it was my worst placement finish in over two years in a race that wasn't OCRWC or a Spartan Beast. I've been very inconsistent with my nutrition and too sporadic with my training. It's having the expected effect on my body. I either need to fix it now, or accept the slide back into fat clothes. I don't want to accept that slide.

 

Now I need to do something about it.

 

Run

It doesn't matter if I'm fat or if my elbow is injured or if I'm just having an arthritic flare-up, these things don't keep me from running, and running doesn't do any further damage to my elbow. I've been complaining about how inconsistent I am as a runner and my results are pretty much indicative of that inconsistency. I can fix this issue by JUST BEING CONSISTENT. This means actually sticking to my plan, not skipping workouts, and generally not making excuses. And with my need to reduce impact on one arm, there's a limit to what I'll be able to do in terms of strength exercises as well. This means I might as well run.

Goal: Run 4x or more per week.

 

Recover

I can't really do a full weight program with one arm, but there are plenty of body weight exercises I can do and back squats don't really have anything to do with your elbows, either. Bottom line, I need to find things I can do to keep up my strength and get my damned gut back in line and still allow my elbow to heal.

Goal: Bodyweight workouts/weights at least 2x per week.


Reduce

I can't outrun my fork. I can't be inconsistent here because I am seeing the results of what happens when I am. I also need to be intellectually honest with myself about portion sizes and ingredients. I lost a significant amount of weight in 2013 because I was honest about what was going in my mouth. It's time to get back to what I know works.

Goal: Nutrition tracking. Target my macros (2000 calories per day; 125g Protein, 35g Fiber, <3000mG Sodium). Log and report here daily.

 

Race

This one kills me. I removed all but a couple obstacle races from the rest of my 2018 calendar and that's because they're paid for. My next event is Terrain Race, just a quick five mile drive from home. I'm in the Competitive Heat that morning and since it's only a 5k course would like to get in a second lap as it will force me to run up and down a hill, something I haven't done much of this year. Unless something odd happens, I won't be able to keep my band - there is a rig that I can't complete with a bum elbow - but I'll do my damnedest to perform as well as I can without injuring myself.

 

I'm going back to basics. I've been here before. I know what I need to do to get where I'm going. Now I need to stop talking about it and do it.

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Let me know when you’re moving. The one thing I’m good for is lifting stuff up and walking backwards.

Technique and guts is a lot, a whole lot, but focusing on running for a while sure won’t hurt.

I’m pulling for you brother.

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Buying a house is hard!  HUGS!  

 

Back to the basics isn't a bad plan for now...  I'm going there too, but only because I'm trying to get my girls involved in this with me.  

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1 hour ago, EricMN said:

I can't outrun my fork.

I've really been trying! It is impossible. 

 

I've already said what I have to say about ocrwc but I'm again really sorry that we don't get to hang out. 

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Intermittent Update #1

council.jpg

It's time to remember who I am.

 

I should really be running a battle log instead of a challenge thread, but I just disappear when I'm not running an active challenge thread, so here I am. I'm still struggling with my mental game, and I haven't got myself into the gym yet, but I'm working on finding movements that don't make my elbow bark the next day. So far here's what we have:

 

- Lat Pulldowns

- Snatches (but not many)

- Tricep extensions

- Single-arm overhead press (not many and not heavy)

- Front raises/lat raises (and not heavy)

- Very strict, very light, isolated preacher curls

- Tricep pushups (but not many)

- Plank Holds

 

That's pretty much it. Sounds like a metric butt-ton of leg work coming up in my future. Which is probably good, I'm sure my recent problems with lack of explosiveness while running are directly related to my recent lack of strength training.

 

Wednesday

I got in my first hill workout in... a long time. I met my North Star Spartans out on the ski hill. It was 86degF when I started and humid. I got in just over two miles of trail with 500ft of elevation before my knees started to bark, and I listened to them and called it a night. It was about half of what I wanted to accomplish, but I decided it's time to build up instead of killing myself to do something that I'm not trained up to do yet.

 

Goal: Run 4x or more per week.

Result: 2 miles plus 500ft elevation.

 

Goal: Bodyweight workouts/weights at least 2x per week.

Result: Light kettlebell and resistance band work to determine what I can actually do with my right arm - 3x/12 reps of all of the items listed above.


Goal: Macros: 2000 calories per day; 125g Protein, 35g Fiber, <3000mG Sodium

Result:

KCal: 1535

Protein: 78g

Fiber: 15g

Sodium: 2877

Missed my usual breakfast as I was fasting for my doctor consult and labs.

 

Thursday

No workout, no run. Pre-empted with a couple house-related issues - mortgage document deliveries and pre-sale house inspection. I have been more than a bit nervous about the age of the roof, since we can't find a past permit on file with the city (records go back to pre-2000) and especially since we will have nothing left in reserve after this purchase, but the inspection came back clean and the estimate was 1-8 years before replacement would be necessary. I'm hoping for the longer time frame.

 

Goal: Run 4x or more per week.

Result: Nothing Thursday.

 

Goal: Bodyweight workouts/weights at least 2x per week.

Result: Nothing Thursday. Did a bunch of squats at my desk, but nothing organized.


Goal: Macros: 2000 calories per day; 125g Protein, 35g Fiber, <3000mG Sodium

Result:

KCal: 1777

Protein: 90g

Fiber: 12g

Sodium: 3220

 

On 8/15/2018 at 1:41 PM, Sloth the Enduring said:

Let me know when you’re moving. The one thing I’m good for is lifting stuff up and walking backwards.

Technique and guts is a lot, a whole lot, but focusing on running for a while sure won’t hurt.

I’m pulling for you brother.

Tentative closing date is Sept. 14. This is six weeks before my lease expires, so there will be no death-march moving day, but I will likely take you up on this. We've got six or eight substantial pieces of furniture to move and I can't guarantee my oldest son, who is my normal moving partner, will be available.

 

On 8/15/2018 at 2:35 PM, Terra said:

Buying a house is hard!  HUGS!  

 

Back to the basics isn't a bad plan for now...  I'm going there too, but only because I'm trying to get my girls involved in this with me.  

Thank you for always being here with positive, supporting words. You're not the hero I deserve, but you're the one I need.

 

On 8/15/2018 at 3:00 PM, jonfirestar said:

I've really been trying! It is impossible. 

 

I've already said what I have to say about ocrwc but I'm again really sorry that we don't get to hang out. 

I will do what I can to keep you accountable with me on the food side, my friend. I hope we get to get muddy together sometime.

 

On 8/15/2018 at 8:45 PM, Tanktimus the Encourager said:
  Reveal hidden contents

Ummmm...were you consulted at some point in that process? It sounds like you got railroaded and had no input in there. I hope I'm mistaken about that.

I'm sorry you don't get to go to OCRWC.

Thank you, Chaplain. I promise I'll get over my pouty face quickly. 

 

As to your spoiler, I'm nowhere that I didn't agree to be, but it was a bit surprising how little conversation I felt we had before it all happened and as quickly as it happened. Room for growth.

 

I'm running a trail 5k on Saturday. I feel it's a major step backward from where I was earlier this year, but I have to re-build my foundation before I can install a new roof, so to speak.

 

Have a great weekend, Rebels.

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On 8/15/2018 at 2:28 PM, EricMN said:

 

I'm going back to basics. I've been here before. I know what I need to do to get where I'm going. Now I need to stop talking about it and do it.

 

 

As always, I am amazed by how quickly you bounce back like a ranger.  Sorry about the other stuff, and I hope it will work out in the long run...

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Just getting in here, running way behind on following people this challenge.

 

I am sorry to hear about the OCRWC, I know how much that meant to you.  Will be here following to support regardless, because OCRWC or no, you are still my hero :) 

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Weekend Recap

Image result for star wars the force awakens ending

 

Friday

Did NOT run. It was 84degF as I was leaving work and the air quality could best be described as "brown" due to the Canadian wildfires. When the NOAA issues a 3-4 day air quality alert and it comes off as understated because the air is not moving and smells like a campfire, it just seemed like a good day to say "No." Since GF was out of town and the boy went to play D&D with his buddies, I took The Pink Princess out for sushi instead.

 

Goal: Run 4x or more per week.

Result: Nothing Friday.

 

Goal: Bodyweight workouts/weights at least 2x per week.

Result: Signed up for 3 gym sessions for the coming week.


Goal: Macros: 2000 calories per day; 125g Protein, 35g Fiber, <3000mG Sodium

Result:

KCal: 1980

Protein: 151g

Fiber: 17g

Sodium: 2520mG

 

Saturday

Mendota Bottoms Trail Run. After what I considered a pretty major failure at the beginning of August at Hyland in a 4-mile run, and a disappointing showing in St. Louis at the Busch Stadium Spartan Sprint, I had basically spent two-plus weeks pouting about how I was failing and doing nothing to fix the issue. The week leading up to Mendota didn't really change that. The air was still hazy and stagnant, but over 3.65 miles I averaged 45 seconds better per mile than at Hyland. Still slower than I would like, but that's due to allowing myself to atrophy, but all progress is progress, I guess. I will say that all day long to others but I hate to say it to myself.

 

Goal: Run 4x or more per week.

Result: 3.65 miles.

 

Goal: Bodyweight workouts/weights at least 2x per week.

Result: Nothing Saturday. Picked up and moved some furniture my GF bought in anticipation of our move.


Goal: Macros: 2000 calories per day; 125g Protein, 35g Fiber, <3000mG Sodium

Result:

KCal: 2139

Protein: 91g

Fiber: 26g

Sodium: 4028mG. Electrolytes: Salty.

 

Sunday

A big bucket of nothing. My son is having issues with his baby mama leaving him with few choices for childcare while he works. I bailed him out. Grandbaby and I had an awesome day.

 

Spoiler

39453719_10157587798882786_1798657098687447040_o.jpg?_nc_cat=0&oh=aba75a8135371e3fd191719191a60a8c&oe=5C03C76F

 

Goal: Run 4x or more per week.

Result: Nope.

 

Goal: Bodyweight workouts/weights at least 2x per week.

Result: Nope.


Goal: Macros: 2000 calories per day; 125g Protein, 35g Fiber, <3000mG Sodium

Result:

KCal: 2112

Protein: 92g

Fiber: 21g

Sodium: 4161mG. Tacos: salty.

 

This week is already off to a solid start. Let's hope it holds up.

 

On 8/17/2018 at 12:56 PM, Moros said:

As always, I am amazed by how quickly you bounce back like a ranger.  Sorry about the other stuff, and I hope it will work out in the long run...

I'm glad it looks like I'm bouncing back, I feel pouty. Thank you for the kind words.

 

On 8/17/2018 at 7:09 PM, Sloth the Enduring said:

Cool. I have a race the 15th and the hammer race, but otherwise my calendar looks free. 

I really appreciate the offer. Most likely things will go down afternoon of the 16th. Sometime after that we will be having a housewarming with smoked pig meats.

 

On 8/19/2018 at 7:12 AM, WhiteGhost said:

I am sorry to hear about the OCRWC, I know how much that meant to you.  Will be here following to support regardless, because OCRWC or no, you are still my hero :) 

I appreciate this. I guarantee I'm not the hero you deserve. I hope I am the one you need. :)

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Monday

thisismadness.jpg

Daily updates from EricMN?

 

I've been feeling broken and old. I'm not ready to give up. I woke up at Zero Dark Thirty, went to the gym and spent my morning before work not giving up. Deadlifts are back. Whiteboards are back.

 

I signed up for some local trail races to replace all the OCRs I won't be doing for the remainder of the year.

 

I'm feeling less broken.

 

Goal: Run 4x or more per week.

Result: I had other commitments Monday evening.

 

Goal: Bodyweight workouts/weights at least 2x per week.

Result: 

Spoiler

Partner Workout

4x30sec, rest while your partner works. I didn't have a partner. I just did work.

20180820_BootCamp01.jpg

Work light, rep out.

 

20180820_BootCamp02.jpg

W/30lb sandbag

 

20180820_BootCamp03.jpg

Ab dolly work

 

20180820_BootCamp04.jpg

Burpee w/Wall Ball

 

20180820_BootCamp05.jpg

Landmine squat to press

 

20180820_BootCamp06.jpg

Love the Tank. Also love @Tanktimus the Encourager, but I wouldn't push him around.


Goal: Macros: 2000 calories per day; 125g Protein, 35g Fiber, <3000mG Sodium

Result:

KCal: 1966

Protein: 118g

Fiber: 29g

Sodium: 3099mG.

 

This was a Good DayTM.

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2 hours ago, EricMN said:
Spoiler

Love the Tank. Also love @Tanktimus the Encourager, but I wouldn't push him around.

 

If it were some sort of pre-arranged deal that involved me being carted around on some four wheeled contrivance I'd allow it.

 

Also, good job not giving up.

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I was trying to come up with something pithy and smart sounding, but I got nothing. I'm just following along and wanted you to know.

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Tuesday

V604_Plan_of_Attack_Rebel_B_HR.jpg

 

Started my day off with the gym again. The Tuesday 6 am class is weight training. I was a bit worried about my elbow, but I also was smart and wore my brace and worked light. Everything felt ~good~ when I was done. Plenty sore, and I've got DOMS today, but no elbow pain.

 

I had planned to run after work, but had also forgotten that we had our company picnic and that I had been peer-pressured to join a sand volleyball tournament with some other people in my department. I haven't played volleyball in nearly 25 years. It got more competitive than I expected for a company picnic. We finished second in the tournament. I kind of sucked. I had a blast.

 

Sometimes you go off-plan, and your day is better for it.

 

Goal: Run 4x or more per week.

Result: Played sand volleyball instead.

 

Goal: Bodyweight workouts/weights at least 2x per week.

Result: 

Spoiler

3 rounds exercise, 45seconds each w/15sec break between rounds.

First 15sec: normal reps

Second 15sec: slow eccentric motions

Final 15 sec: rep out

20180821_Plus01.jpg

Kettlebell goblet squats

Hamstring curls on Wall Ball

Sumo kettlebell goblet squats

Hip Bridge on Wall Ball

Dumbbell rows

Dumbbell chest press (mostly left arm)

Dumbbell bicep curls (mostly left arm)

Dumbbell OH tricep extensions

 

Goal: Macros: 2000 calories per day; 125g Protein, 35g Fiber, <3000mG Sodium

Result:

KCal: 2631

Protein: 138g

Fiber: 24g

Sodium: 4950mG. But it was ~brisket~.

 

Today's my last opportunity to get in some hills before Terrain Race kicks my butt up and down a ski hill on Saturday. I won't opt out.

 

2016TerrainRaceMN.jpg

Fun with friends? I'm in.

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Wednesday

Image result for skellig michael star wars scene

 

Another Good DayTM. Everything was sore. DOMS were real. I managed to make zero excuses and got out to the ski hill and ran. It was the best I've felt running in over a month. My glutes activated and I could tell the difference from even two weeks ago. Strength training benefits are real.

 

Goal: Run 4x or more per week.

Result: 3 miles at the ski hill with 500ft elevation.

 

Goal: Bodyweight workouts/weights at least 2x per week.

Result: Planned rest day.

 

Goal: Macros: 2000 calories per day; 125g Protein, 35g Fiber, <3000mG Sodium

Result:

KCal: 1860

Protein: 110g

Fiber: 20g

Sodium: 2177mG. 

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Thursday

puzzlewood.jpg

 

Low-key day; my legs were feeling trashed from three days of work after a couple months of slacking. I took it easy and opted not to do a morning Boot Camp. Instead, I did a metric butt-ton of stretching before stopping on my way home from work to get in 3.3 miles on my favorite trail. A month ago I would have complained about all the downsides of this run. Yesterday I was in a much better headspace; I was just enjoying the run.

 

A "bad" day on a trail is better than a good day doing a lot of other things.

 

20180823_TrailRun01.jpg

 

20180823_TrailRun02.jpg

 

Goal: Run 4x or more per week.

Result: 3.3 trail miles.

 

Goal: Bodyweight workouts/weights at least 2x per week.

Result: Nope.

 

Goal: Macros: 2000 calories per day; 125g Protein, 35g Fiber, <3000mG Sodium

Result:

KCal: 2524

Protein: 163g

Fiber: 23g

Sodium: 2591mG. Bad snack choice at work spiked the calories.

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I just want to take a moment to say grand-baby is getting SO BIG! I feel like it was only a few short months ago that you showed the first pictures! 

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Sorry the house situation has thrown such a huge wrench into your plans. Hope the house works out well for you all though.

 

On 8/21/2018 at 12:06 PM, EricMN said:

I signed up for some local trail races to replace all the OCRs I won't be doing for the remainder of the year.

 

I'm feeling less broken.

 

This all sounds very good!

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Weekend Recap

2aun14.jpg

Busy weekend, but not a lot of fitness going on.

Friday

Spent the evening chasing down furniture for the new house with my GF. She is on a hunting mission right now. I am trying to get her to slow her roll and at least get us into the house before she goes and buys all new furniture to furnish a house we won't be in for another three weeks.

 

Saturday

northstars.jpg

Terrain Race in the morning in Minnesota at Buck Hill, a ski hill 10 minutes from home. It was foggy and dreary when I got there and didn't burn off until long after I finished the course. 3.7 miles with between 700 and 800 feet of elevation, depending on whose watch you trust. I didn't expect to have a great day and I didn't, as I haven't done much hill training and not nearly enough to put up a decent showing in a race that started with an 80-foot climb-and-decent on a black diamond hill and then got serious about the hills from there. It was mostly "Terrain Race" and less "Obstacle Course Race" with maybe three obstacles in the first two miles and then threw in maybe a dozen obstacles in the last mile and a half.

 

I lost my band on the rig, after failing on the cannonballs. My initial strategy had been to try to stay on the foot-rings, use the first cannonball to stretch to the hanging handle, and see if I could use the last cannonball to get to the bell, but I haven't put in the training to get it done this year and I dropped.

 

nate_rig.jpg

Unlike my friend Nate here, who did exactly what I tried to do.

 

I gave up my band, plunked through the last couple wet obstacles, and then failed on the monkey bars at the end, which were so wet that not many were completing them when I went through. The line-up for the final obstacle got ridiculous after a while.

 

All in all, I was about 20 minutes slower than I would have liked to be, and that can be directly attributed to a lack of time spent on the hill; but as this (and Rugged Maniac, next month) are the only hill races I'm doing this year and both of those are fun runs, and though hill workouts make me a stronger and faster runner in general, I'm not going to stress on it. Plenty of time to get my workouts sorted and plan for 2019.

 

I only managed to get in one lap on the hill before I had to bail out and head home, clean up, get dressed, and head for the airport. GF and I had been invited to the wedding of one of my former youth group girls. I've been friends with the family since before she was old enough to be in youth group. I had a strong mentoring relationship with her. I was honored to be invited. It was a gorgeous outdoor wedding on a ranch in Colorado. We had to take a very short hike from the reception tent to the actual ceremony site, which backed up on a bluff. It was all gorgeous. Her dad, a good friend of mine, took a big hesitation step as he walked her the last 20 feet to her groom. I hope I get to take that walk with one of my own someday and have my own "I'm not ready" moment.

 

Spoiler

dewey_and_mikey.jpg

He stood on her dress for more than half of the daddy-daughter dance. It was perfect.

 

Sunday

devils_backbone.jpg

The view from our AirBnB. Life is good.

 

Sunday was a big ball of nothing. We had a decent brunch in Loveland, CO. We drove to the Denver airport and sat there forever before our flight left, and I felt just... bleh. I was in bed by 9:30 p.m.

 

I'm looking forward to this week. I feel mostly good, I'm at peace and a little excited about the upcoming house closing (Sept 14), I'm happy that my elbow hasn't kept me awake since last Monday, and I'm looking forward instead of dwelling on what has gone before.

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9 hours ago, EricMN said:

It was mostly "Terrain Race" and less "Obstacle Course Race" with maybe three obstacles in the first two miles and then threw in maybe a dozen obstacles in the last mile and a half.

That sounds like how my Spartan was organized last weekend.  From the 5K to the 15K mark there were only 6 obstacles (one of which was the memorization station), whereas in the last 300 meters there were 8.

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20180901_PostRun.jpg

 

It was a bad week. I haven't been to the gym due to pain and scheduling issues in almost two weeks. I didn't get in a run until Saturday. I'm feeling old and tired and weak.

 

Nobody can fix me but me.

 

watch_me_rise_by_lydi_horror.jpg

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Sad but beautiful post Eric. Let us know if we can help. You might want to talk about it. You might not. We're here either way.

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