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Operation Fly By Night


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My goal is to race in the 2019 OCRWC in England this October, as an age-group athlete.  This battle log is to keep track of my strategy and progress in getting there.

 

Step #1: Qualify

 

My target race is Black Ops on June 22/23.  This is a 12-hour overnight obstacle course race with a 5.5K loop and some very specific rules.  Strategy will feature in this, but that can be a focus after I have gained the needed fitness and technical skills.  Last year I ran this and made 5 laps.  This year I hope to make at least 7 laps; 7 laps in 11:08 hours would have been a qualifying time last year.  8 laps within 12 hours is my ideal result and would guarantee me a spot at world's.

 

If anyone browsing here has thoughts or suggestions, I would love to hear them!

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Battle Log: Operation Fly-By-Night

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

― Neil Gaiman

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Black Ops - Fitness and Skills Needed

 

1. Speed and endurance on hills

8 laps would be 44km on dirt trails, not counting penalty loops.  The terrain is not technical but has some muddy sections and many steep sections.  About 1/3 is flat, 1/3 is rolling hills, and 1/3 is steep (45% grade).  This means fitness but also proper nutrition/hydration/pacing strategies.

Image result for xwarrior wilderness

 

2. Grip and upper body strength

Last year had 15 obstacles per loop.  Three were rigs, and several of the non-rigs needed grip strength (peg board traverse, climbing on the underneath of cargo nets, jumping to catch the rope before climbing it, etc).

Image result for black ops xwarrior

 

3. Technical obstacle proficiency

The penalty loops are there to hurt more than the obstacle would have, so completing obstacles is important in having the time and energy for all the laps.  This means research, guidance, and lots of practice.

Image result for xwarrior axe throw

 

4. Stubbornness and courage

Stubbornness is not a problem for me. :D  Courage can be - I couldn't make myself jump on the Dragon's Back last year. Heights are still a problem for me.

Image result for xwarrior obstacle boneyard

I also got really, really sulky and snarly at points in the middle of the night so I'll work out some strategies to keep my head in a good place.

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Current Challenge: The Cliffs of Insanity  Previous Challenges: #1#2, #3#4#5#6, #7#8#9#10#11#12#13#14#15#16#17#18#19#20#21#22, #23, #24, #25, #26#27#28#29#30#31#32#33#34#35

Battle Log: Operation Fly-By-Night

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

― Neil Gaiman

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Training Principles

 

1. Don't get injured.  Listen to my physiotherapist. Listen to my body.  Don't increase volume and intensity on the same week.  Do all my preventative maintenance. Eat and sleep well.  Take rest days when needed.

 

2. Ask for help.  Happily stalk other Ranger's threads and training and pester them for advice. Actually follow said advice.  Go out trail running with experienced runners.  Go to classes at the OCR gym.  Post on the FB page for local OCR runners and ask for help with crewing at the race.

 

3. Be consistent.  Only miss training days for needed rest, not for laziness.  Build fitness slowly and steadily.  Train at least 5 days a week, mostly 6 with a few doubles.

 

4. Have fun.  It is still a long 6 months to my qualifying race, and even longer until the OCRWC.  In order to last through my training (without killing anyone) I need to remember to enjoy myself.  Take my training seriously, but don't take myself too seriously. Smile when I run and race.

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Battle Log: Operation Fly-By-Night

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

― Neil Gaiman

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Phase I - Base

Jan, Feb 2019 (approx 6 remaining weeks)

 

Running Plan

The goal for this phase is to build my weekly running time and start working on a long run.  Right now I am running 3 times a week for 40 minutes at a "comfortable" pace.  One run will be lengthened to 45 minutes this week, 50 next, and 60 the week after.  At that point I can add in a 4th weekly run for 30 minutes.  By the end of the phase I should be at 4 runs per week (40, 40, 30, 90 mins).  My physiotherapist does not want me to start increasing intensity of my runs until this point.

 

Injury-Proof Plan

  • Twice weekly strength training - currently this is a short, full-body progressive lifting routine. ( I don't have any ideas on how to best program this for the June OCR.)
  • Daily calf strengthening exercise, at least 5/7 per week
  • Twice weekly extended physio exercises including balance work.
  • Lose weight, about 5 lbs by the end of this phase through quality meals and less snacking.

 

Grip and Obstacles Plan

  • Biweekly bouldering
  • GtG deadhangs, pinch grips and farmer carries.  I will track this so each week has slightly more than the previous.
  • Visit an OCR gym to see where I am at with obstacles.
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Battle Log: Operation Fly-By-Night

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

― Neil Gaiman

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17 hours ago, Kestrel Grey said:

My target race is Black Ops on June 22/23.  This is a 12-hour overnight obstacle course race with a 5.5K loop and some very specific rules. 

 

Wow, that's awesome! Sounds like a tough race, but looks like you're getting a good plan in place. Good luck!

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Of course I"m going to be here to see you through this! 

 

13 hours ago, Kestrel Grey said:
  • Twice weekly strength training - currently this is a short, full-body progressive lifting routine. ( I don't have any ideas on how to best program this for the June OCR.)
  •  

:) I still have a lot more for you, I've just been a little short of time. I can definitely give you some ideas about how to do this. 

strava - myfitnesspal - Instagram

2019 Roadmap

Spoiler

 

" Always aim for something stupidly crazy." - Charlie Quinn

2019 Races: Cliveden MTR 06/01 | Nuts Challenge 02/03 | Reading Half Marathon 17/03 | W.A.R 27/04 | RRDW 11/05 | Nuclear Oblivion 19/05 | Man vs Lakes 20/07 | Spartan Trifecta Weekend 05-06/10 | OCRWC 11-13/10

 

Current Challenge: First Steps

Previous Challenges: 12 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24

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19 hours ago, TGP said:

Wow.  what a challenge!

I'm sure I know nothing about how to do this; but I've read about it online and I think you are very, very hardcore for attempting it! Good luck!

 

Thanks! I feel your challenge is more hard-core though!  Mine is only 12 hours and many people complete it.

 

8 hours ago, Jupiter said:

 

Wow, that's awesome! Sounds like a tough race, but looks like you're getting a good plan in place. Good luck!

Thanks, over-planning for the win. :) 

  • Like 1

Current Challenge: The Cliffs of Insanity  Previous Challenges: #1#2, #3#4#5#6, #7#8#9#10#11#12#13#14#15#16#17#18#19#20#21#22, #23, #24, #25, #26#27#28#29#30#31#32#33#34#35

Battle Log: Operation Fly-By-Night

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

― Neil Gaiman

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8 hours ago, jonfirestar said:

Of course I"m going to be here to see you through this! 

 

:) I still have a lot more for you, I've just been a little short of time. I can definitely give you some ideas about how to do this. 

 

I wouldn't be very optimistic about completing this without you. Your help means a lot.

Current Challenge: The Cliffs of Insanity  Previous Challenges: #1#2, #3#4#5#6, #7#8#9#10#11#12#13#14#15#16#17#18#19#20#21#22, #23, #24, #25, #26#27#28#29#30#31#32#33#34#35

Battle Log: Operation Fly-By-Night

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

― Neil Gaiman

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On 1/18/2019 at 2:24 PM, Auroro Borealis said:

Totally awestruck by the races you have lined up. What challenges!

I'll be following this thread with an eagle eye. Hopefully some of your training will rub off on me by osmosis if I hang around in your thread.

 

Thanks! Are you interested in running obstacle course races too?

Current Challenge: The Cliffs of Insanity  Previous Challenges: #1#2, #3#4#5#6, #7#8#9#10#11#12#13#14#15#16#17#18#19#20#21#22, #23, #24, #25, #26#27#28#29#30#31#32#33#34#35

Battle Log: Operation Fly-By-Night

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

― Neil Gaiman

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Update - Phase I (Base)

Weeks remaining: 4/6

 

Running Plan

Currently at 45/45/50 minutes a week, with one set of strides.  I have tried pushing this a little in different ways (running on hills or trying to sneak in speed work) but each time my knee let me know I need to stick with the plan.  My physiotherapist knows what she is doing.

 

Injury-Proof Plan

I am only running at about 50% on these.  When I am busy I tend to let my strength training slip before my running.  This is okay for straight-up heavy lifting but it is not okay for my physio exercises.  They need to be prioritized over running if I want to stay healthy through the long months ahead.  Sugar is on the chopping block as I transition back into weight-loss eating.

 

Grip and Obstacle Plan

Bouldering was sidelined last week due to illness.  I will see if I can make up the session somewhere in February.  GtG pinch grips and farmer's carry are going well but I would like to focus a little more on pull-ups for the remaining weeks.

 

Miscellaneous

Our vacation requests for the coming year have been approved, or dis-approved as the case may be.  My request for time off for Black Ops, my qualifying event, was approved.  My time off for OCRWC was not.  This is slightly troubling.  I do have an amazing bunch of coworkers though, and if they know this is important to me I am 90% sure we can find a way to trade shifts around so I can still go.  In the mean time I am determined to forget about the possibility of not going and train like it's a sure thing.

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Current Challenge: The Cliffs of Insanity  Previous Challenges: #1#2, #3#4#5#6, #7#8#9#10#11#12#13#14#15#16#17#18#19#20#21#22, #23, #24, #25, #26#27#28#29#30#31#32#33#34#35

Battle Log: Operation Fly-By-Night

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

― Neil Gaiman

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February's Training Plan

 

           
    Running Strength Physio  
  Monday 45 min E + strides Grip/abs circuit Calf raise  
        SL squat  
  Tuesday (Opt hike) Push day Calf raise  
        Glute bridge  
  Wednesday 45 min E Grip/abs circuit Band work  
           
  Thursday   Pull day Calf raise  
        Glute bridge  
  Friday 30 min E + strides Beginner bootcamp    
           
  Saturday Long run (Opt bouldering) SL squat  
           
  Sunday rest rest rest  
         

 

New for February, I get to add in a fourth day of running!  This is an ideal weekly plan only.  It's too early in the season to let myself get stressed out over training. The key runs and the grip training need to happen, and there is no excuse for skipping physio, but otherwise I won't sweat it if something comes up and I miss a session.  Or if I decide to go play in the mountains for the day instead. :) 

 

I will be travelling the last week of the month, which will be my rest week before moving into Phase II of my training.

 

Current Challenge: The Cliffs of Insanity  Previous Challenges: #1#2, #3#4#5#6, #7#8#9#10#11#12#13#14#15#16#17#18#19#20#21#22, #23, #24, #25, #26#27#28#29#30#31#32#33#34#35

Battle Log: Operation Fly-By-Night

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

― Neil Gaiman

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On 2/1/2019 at 1:02 AM, Mikey Fitpants said:

Hi there. You have set yourself a real challenge here. I look forward to following your progress.

Thanks!  I'm hoping it goes well, and I am happy to hear any thoughts you have along the way.

Current Challenge: The Cliffs of Insanity  Previous Challenges: #1#2, #3#4#5#6, #7#8#9#10#11#12#13#14#15#16#17#18#19#20#21#22, #23, #24, #25, #26#27#28#29#30#31#32#33#34#35

Battle Log: Operation Fly-By-Night

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

― Neil Gaiman

Link to post

Obstacle Proficiency - Baseline Test Feb 1, 2019

 

I visited the OCR gym to try out their obstacles and get a feel for where I stand.  While I was disappointed in how few obstacles I can currently complete, it is encouraging to realise how little I need to conquer the rest. (Note: none of the pictures are of me, spoilered for photo size.)


1. L-Wall Traverse
 

Spoiler

 

Image result for cor.fit calgary

This was a no, but I think that was due to poor shoe choice.  They were wider at the bottom of the sole so I couldn't get my weight on the blocks very well, and didn't manage to shift feet.

 

 

2. Angled wall rope climb

Spoiler

 

Image result for cor.fit calgary

No problem here.

 

 

3. Angled 8' wall

Spoiler

 

Image result for cor.fit calgary

I had difficulty holding on to the wooden slats and kept falling off.  So no.

 

 

 

 

 4. Cargo net A-frame

Spoiler

Image result for cor.fit calgary

No problem, but I am slow transitioning over the top.  I wasn't brave enough to try the rolling technique.

 

5. Fat-grip monkey bars

Spoiler

Image result for cor.fit calgary

My grip failed me here.  I can't swing by one hand with a thumbless grip and so can't get to the next bar.

 

6. Rings

Spoiler

Surprisingly these felt easier than the monkey bars.  I could hang from one hand because I could use my thumbs, and the rings were smaller than the bars were.  I didn't cross them but practiced my swing while holding onto two of them.

 

7. Underside of cargo net and rope traverse

Spoiler

Image result for cor.fit calgary

Between my lack of faith in my grip, and my fear of falling on my head, I didn't attempt these.

 

9. Rope climb

Spoiler

Image result for cor.fit calgary

I can still do these!  No problem, but my fear of heights stopped me about 2/3 of the way up.  I use the J-hook and feel secure.  If I can get my core stronger I can move my feet higher each time and get up faster; toes-to-bar may be in my future.

 

10. 4' 6' and 8' walls

Spoiler

Image result for cor.fit calgary

I couldn't do them!  This is frustrating because I could get the 6' wall last year.  I know I am not weaker now so it must be a technique thing.  My hips/hamstrings are also really tight so lack of flexibility may be an issue.  The 4' wall is the only one I did today.

 

11. vertical pole thingies

Spoiler

Image result for cor.fit calgary

I managed to get to the third pole before we moved on.  This is something I feel confident I can get with just a little more practice.

 

12. Rigs

Spoiler

No pictures, but no need.  There was no way this was going to happen so I didn't even try.  It was random hanging objects and swinging hang boards.  Maybe after I can at least get the regular monkey bars I'll give this a shot.

 

13. Wall traverse with chains and ropes

Spoiler

By this point my grip was shot and I didn't even try.

 

14. Mini-dragon's back

Spoiler

This was disappointing because it didn't represent any of the challenge of the real thing.  It was not off the ground so I didn't have to deal with heights and the leap was so small I could step across.

 

15. Peg board

Spoiler

This is set up so you can either move across it or up it.  I just held myself up with my arms at 90 and practiced shifting my weight side to side.  My pull-up work is starting to pay off here.

 

16. Weaver

Spoiler

Image result for weaver ocr

I need more core strength for this.  I could get my foot on the next board but couldn't raise myself up high enough to hook it completely.

 

Overall impression:  I desperately need more grip strength.  With simply the ability to hang by one hand in the thumbless grip I could probably learn to overcome all the obstacles.  Next, having more core strength, flexibility, and vertical jump.  My next check will be in Phase II.

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Battle Log: Operation Fly-By-Night

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

― Neil Gaiman

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20 hours ago, Mikey Fitpants said:

That looks good fun. Have you done one of these Black Ops things before? Is the idea that you spend 12 hours throughout the night continually going round an obstacle course?

Yep that's the idea! I did this last year and it was great fun.  By great fun I mean I cried and threw up and fell down a lot*, and couldn't walk for a week afterwards, but found out I can push through all that and earned my 5-lap badge. :D  I've never been more proud of myself.  The whole place has a festival-air, and the camp is full of music and people there to support their runners, and they serve pancakes afterwards.  This year I want to do even better and really rock the whole experience.

 

*To be fair it would have been more enjoyable if I wasn't already sleep-deprived because I had to get up early to drive the 11 hours there.

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Current Challenge: The Cliffs of Insanity  Previous Challenges: #1#2, #3#4#5#6, #7#8#9#10#11#12#13#14#15#16#17#18#19#20#21#22, #23, #24, #25, #26#27#28#29#30#31#32#33#34#35

Battle Log: Operation Fly-By-Night

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

― Neil Gaiman

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Week T-19 Battle Report

 

Monday - Ran 45 minutes easy + 5 strides.  Did random deadhangs and negative pull-ups for a bit.  Physio was calf raises and one set of 1/4 squats.

Tuesday - Push day

Spoiler

Squat (75lb) 3x10

incline press (30lb) 10/10/9

3 x circuit of: 5 push-up neg, 8 calf raise with 20lb, 20 sec sl glute bridge

Wednesday - Ran 45 minutes easy.

Thursday - IMS needling in legs and foot, no exercising today.

Friday - Ran 30 minutes "fun hard".

Saturday - Ran 60 minutes easy. Physio was banded clamshells. Went bouldering (VB, V0, V1).

Sunday - Today I am planning 15 minutes of yoga, and a very short walk in the -38 weather.

 

This week felt very draining until after Thursday's extra rest day.  Maybe because I had several early morning shifts this week, but maybe because I am not used to double workout days just yet.  All the planned runs happened and two grip-related sessions (yay!) but only 1/3 strength sessions and 2/5 physio.  My physiotherapist laughed when I mentioned how tired I was; she refers to it as "paying my dues" to get back into regular training.

 

Bouldering was fun. It was my first of the year and we managed a couple routes I didn't last time.  I am still afraid of heights so it prevents me from taking risks and I can never seem to figure out where to put my feet.

 

Weight hasn't been budging so I am resorting to calorie tracking.

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Current Challenge: The Cliffs of Insanity  Previous Challenges: #1#2, #3#4#5#6, #7#8#9#10#11#12#13#14#15#16#17#18#19#20#21#22, #23, #24, #25, #26#27#28#29#30#31#32#33#34#35

Battle Log: Operation Fly-By-Night

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

― Neil Gaiman

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9 hours ago, Kestrel Grey said:

Bouldering was fun. It was my first of the year and we managed a couple routes I didn't last time.  I am still afraid of heights so it prevents me from taking risks and I can never seem to figure out where to put my feet.

 

I tried this the other day, and I was terrified LOL. 

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15 hours ago, Jupiter said:

 

I tried this the other day, and I was terrified LOL. 

Hopefully this is one of those exposure therapy things, where the more you do it the less scary it gets.  Assuming you don't break anything of course. :D  Are you going to give it another go?

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Current Challenge: The Cliffs of Insanity  Previous Challenges: #1#2, #3#4#5#6, #7#8#9#10#11#12#13#14#15#16#17#18#19#20#21#22, #23, #24, #25, #26#27#28#29#30#31#32#33#34#35

Battle Log: Operation Fly-By-Night

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

― Neil Gaiman

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7 hours ago, Kestrel Grey said:

Hopefully this is one of those exposure therapy things, where the more you do it the less scary it gets.  Assuming you don't break anything of course. :D

 

LOL maybe.

 

7 hours ago, Kestrel Grey said:

Are you going to give it another go?

 

I wasn't going to initially, but now I'm thinking about it. :) 

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I may have to cut back on my training schedule.  On any day I am working, the second workout is consistently not happening.  I'm not 100% sure if it is because of energy or time constraints; my work goes until 11:30 pm most days so everything (exercise, chores, fun) has to happen in the morning and one of the workouts ends up getting dropped.

This may be reality, but I am not okay with it.  What can I leave out? Everything seems essential right now!

Current Challenge: The Cliffs of Insanity  Previous Challenges: #1#2, #3#4#5#6, #7#8#9#10#11#12#13#14#15#16#17#18#19#20#21#22, #23, #24, #25, #26#27#28#29#30#31#32#33#34#35

Battle Log: Operation Fly-By-Night

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

― Neil Gaiman

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