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Doug's Road to Sparta


drelmer

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I was super psyched when I found out about the challenge--I've been planning for a few months to run my 2nd Spartan Race on July 13th!

 

A bit of background--I'm a big dude who has been on the rollercoaster of trying to take care of myself for at least 6 years.  At my worst, I was a 330lb smoker who couldn't climb stairs without sweating.  I'm now a 285lb. nonsmoker who can shlep through a 5k.  Over the past year, I've realized I'm pretty strong too--was doing SL5x5 for a few months.  

 

So about the Spartan Race--I did it last year at Blue Mountain in PA.  It was hands down the hardest thing I've done in my life.  There are multiple reasons it sucked, but here are the 3 killers for me:

1. It was up and down a mountain--TWICE--almost all uphill or downhill that no 5k or half marathon training ever prepared me for

2. Tons of bodyweight stuff like climbing, monkey bars, rope climbs (no fun at 300lbs at the time)

3. Ever failed obstacle= 30 burpees, when I could barely string together 5.

 

All this added up to finishing the race (yay!) but having it take 4:32 (boo!). 

 

This year, I'm going to be ready for the race.  I've completed a Whole30, joined a Crossfit gym a few months ago, and continued to try and keep up a reasonable running schedule.

 

Given all this, here are my Goals:

 

Nutrition/Fitness Goals

1. Complete the Spartan Sprint on July 13, 2013 in 3:32 or better (cut an hour off my time) [+3 STA, +1 STR, +1 DEX]

2. Complete another Whole 30 from June 15-July 14 [+5 CON]

3. String together 5 double unders OR do an unassisted pullup [+3 to Dex if double unders/+2 to Strength if pullup]

 

Life Goal:

1. Complete drafts of two chapters of my dissertation by July 14th [+2 Wis]

 

Looking forward to posting here a few times a week to talk about how the nutrition and WODs are going and can't wait to smoke that race at the end of this!

 

Doug

"The miracle isn't that I finished, the miracle is that I had the courage to start."  John Bingham

Level 1 Ranger, Str 4, Dex 1, Sta 2, Con 2, Wis 3, Chr 3

 

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Figured I'd start getting used to posting here:

 

Workout--

Clean and Jerk, work towards 1 rep max.  PR'd at 145lbs.

 

WOD:

10-1 workout

Front Squats @ 115 lbs.

Over the barbell burpees

10 squats/10 burpees, 9 squats/9 burpees, etc. etc.

It was brutal, and it took me 16:35.  But I wasn't last--which is super rare in my Crossfit class!

"The miracle isn't that I finished, the miracle is that I had the courage to start."  John Bingham

Level 1 Ranger, Str 4, Dex 1, Sta 2, Con 2, Wis 3, Chr 3

 

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Yay!  PA, I miss being home >.<  Good job on your progress so far!!  I'm been meaning to do a Spartan/Tough Mudder for a few years now, I keep coming up with excuses though >.<  Maybe I'll put them in the schedule for next year after the Tri and Marathon this year.

 

Good Luck!!1!

Level 1 Nord Ranger

Stats: TBD

Runkeeper | MyFitnessPal

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Just checking in. I like your goals. Those races are long, that's for sure! Two questions: where in PA do you live, and what is your dissertation on?

So I don't actually live in PA anymore, but I grew up in Lancaster and am flying home to run the race with some friends.  My dissertation is in Education Policy, and looks at shifts in demographics, fiscal data, and education attainment in districts under court ordered desegregation in the 90s through 2010.

"The miracle isn't that I finished, the miracle is that I had the courage to start."  John Bingham

Level 1 Ranger, Str 4, Dex 1, Sta 2, Con 2, Wis 3, Chr 3

 

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Yay!  PA, I miss being home >.<  Good job on your progress so far!!  I'm been meaning to do a Spartan/Tough Mudder for a few years now, I keep coming up with excuses though >.<  Maybe I'll put them in the schedule for next year after the Tri and Marathon this year.

 

Good Luck!!1!

I think after this Spartan Race, I'd like to buy a (relatively) cheap bike and try to tackle a sprint tri.  The swimming is kind of intimidating...

"The miracle isn't that I finished, the miracle is that I had the courage to start."  John Bingham

Level 1 Ranger, Str 4, Dex 1, Sta 2, Con 2, Wis 3, Chr 3

 

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I'm an education student--started out as a teacher, and now serve as the director of a national education reform/support program.  Got my master's in ed leadership. 

 

I think my WOD rocked me more than I rocked it:

 

Strength--10 minutes, every minute on the minute power snatch x 3 (did this light to work on form 65 then 85 lbs.)

WOD

5 Rounds

Power Clean x 5 @ 95 lbs.

200m run

Ring Rows x 10

Completed in 14:20

 

Eating--haven't started the whole 30 yet, but was paleo compliant.

 

Dissertation--slammed with job stuff, so nothing today.  Flying tomorrow and hoping I can update some tables on my flight.

"The miracle isn't that I finished, the miracle is that I had the courage to start."  John Bingham

Level 1 Ranger, Str 4, Dex 1, Sta 2, Con 2, Wis 3, Chr 3

 

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6/4/13

 

Strength--Back Squat 1 Rep Max, 365 lbs (PR)

 

WOD:

21-15-9

KB Snatches each arm 35lbs.

Air Squats

Hands-Up pushups

Finished in 8:20

"The miracle isn't that I finished, the miracle is that I had the courage to start."  John Bingham

Level 1 Ranger, Str 4, Dex 1, Sta 2, Con 2, Wis 3, Chr 3

 

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6/5/13

 

National Running Day--I was traveling for work, so got a short 2 mile run in around Philadelphia before work!  Took a route that was super pedestrian heavy in the middle of morning rush hour, so lots of stops and starts.  It was kind of fun though--ran by City Hall and the Franklin Instititute, but not the Rocky stairs at the Art Museum.

 

Food and dissertation wise, I need to refocus. Went to a Phillies game Wednesday night and had crappy ballpark food.  Did well during the day yesterday, but finished the night off with a crappy airport cheesesteak.

No dissertation work yet this challenge--need to remedy that!

"The miracle isn't that I finished, the miracle is that I had the courage to start."  John Bingham

Level 1 Ranger, Str 4, Dex 1, Sta 2, Con 2, Wis 3, Chr 3

 

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6/6/13

 

WOD--was going to take a rest day, but then I saw this workout and it looked like too much fun

5 min ea. as many rounds as possible:

 

Farmer's Walk @ 135 lbs. ea hand, 40 yds

Stone to Shoulder, 115lbs x 5

Prowler Sled Pushes, 135lbs. 40 yds

Calorie Rows w/partner

 

Food was cleaner today--not whole30, but that doesn't kick in until next Saturday.

No dissertation work

"The miracle isn't that I finished, the miracle is that I had the courage to start."  John Bingham

Level 1 Ranger, Str 4, Dex 1, Sta 2, Con 2, Wis 3, Chr 3

 

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Welcome to Philly!  If you're here for work and running, you're contractually obligated to do the Rocky stairs.  Just so you know.  Good luck today (if you're still here), since it's going to pour all day.

 

Love your dissertation topic.  Keep up the good work!

 

"Did you go to the gym when you were alive?"
"I died in 1938. For exercise, we drank sloe gin and smoked Lucky Strikes."
- Dead Like Me

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Welcome to Philly!  If you're here for work and running, you're contractually obligated to do the Rocky stairs.  Just so you know.  Good luck today (if you're still here), since it's going to pour all day.

 

Love your dissertation topic.  Keep up the good work!

 

I left Wednesday afternoon, so I guess this means I have to run them twice next time!

"The miracle isn't that I finished, the miracle is that I had the courage to start."  John Bingham

Level 1 Ranger, Str 4, Dex 1, Sta 2, Con 2, Wis 3, Chr 3

 

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So I get my WODs from the gym where I work out--skyslimitcrossfit.com

 

Today's workout sucked (in a good way)--the coach turned 37:

 

Deadlifts @ 95 x37

Hang Cleans @ 95 x 37

Thrusters @ 95 x 37

Ring Rows x 37 (the real tough guys did strict chin-ups!!!)

1 mile run

Burpees x 37

Time 26:24

"The miracle isn't that I finished, the miracle is that I had the courage to start."  John Bingham

Level 1 Ranger, Str 4, Dex 1, Sta 2, Con 2, Wis 3, Chr 3

 

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Sorry all--I've only been neglecting posting, not the challenge! (On vacation with the family, spotty internet access)

 

Sat/Sun--Rest Days

 

Mon--3 mi run @ 11:57/mi

Tue--Rest Day

 

Wed--1.4 mi run then 21-15-9

  • Incline Sit-Ups
  • Air Squats
  • Push-Ups
  • Inverted Rows

Today or Tomorrow--Probably 100 burpees for time and then a rest day the other day.

 

Whole 30 starts tomorrow!  

 

Going to have to kick the dissertation into high gear the last 4 weeks of the challenge

"The miracle isn't that I finished, the miracle is that I had the courage to start."  John Bingham

Level 1 Ranger, Str 4, Dex 1, Sta 2, Con 2, Wis 3, Chr 3

 

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Been a bit sloppy about posting again--so here's the last few days:

 

Eating--I'm on morning 4 of my whole 30.  Worked through a couple days of mild carb flu, and am feeling pretty good.  I'm amazed at how much better I feel already on day 4--sharper, and I sleep much, much better

 

Exercise-- Took the weekend off.  Yesterday-- Every minute for 10 minutes squat clean x2 @ 95lbs.  Then 10 minutes AMRAP--10 overhead squats (I'm terrible at these, bare bar) and 10 burpees.  Got 3 rounds done.

 

Also got my 40lb. sandbag...planning on doing some hill drills this week to start getting ready for the dreaded double black diamond hill climb.

 

 

I've been struggling to find time to write for my dissertation--up at 5:30, gym at 6, then get kiddo ready for school, 8-10 hours of work, kiddo deactivation sequence, then it's 9pm again.  Any ideas?

"The miracle isn't that I finished, the miracle is that I had the courage to start."  John Bingham

Level 1 Ranger, Str 4, Dex 1, Sta 2, Con 2, Wis 3, Chr 3

 

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Here's the latest--

 

Today is day 6 of the Whole30, so far I'm on track!

 

Workouts:

 

Tuesday (Brutal)-- 3 minute stone to shoulder test--got a 145lb stone up 15 times.  Then partner WOD--60 push presses @ 95lbs (30 for ea. partner); 80 box jumps (40 ea.); 100 KB Swings @ 53lbs (50 ea.); 6x400m sprints (3 each).  Did it in 22:15--maybe the hardest Crossfit workout I've done?

 

Wednesday (kinda brutal)-- Assisted pushups (can still barely get up once with heavy bands) then switched to ring rows; Then WOD--12 min AMRAP-- 90 jump rope singles (can't do double unders), 10 KB snatches @ 35lbs. each arm; 15 pushups.  Got 3 rounds done.  Felt cooked.

 

Debating whether or not to take a rest day today because my legs feel really tight.

"The miracle isn't that I finished, the miracle is that I had the courage to start."  John Bingham

Level 1 Ranger, Str 4, Dex 1, Sta 2, Con 2, Wis 3, Chr 3

 

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Thanks Lisa!

 

Day 8 of the Whole 30 is proceeding well.  One tip that might help other folks--if you're looking for a place to eat out, try mongolian barbecue!  Very easy to take control of what's going into your meal and lots of great choices.

 

Thursday's workout-- Back Squats 8x2--first set at 225#, then 7 sets at 275#.  WOD--21 Thrusters @ 95 lbs/30 hollow rocks, 15 Thrusters/20 hollow rocks, 9 thrusters/10 hollow rocks.  Finished in 8:53

 

My legs were done yesterday, so I took a rest day.  Probably taking today off too (might run hill repeats at a park later on--there's a playground at the top where my kid can play).  

 

Best news--about to embark on a solid 8 hours of dissertation work--might even get the first chapter wrapped up today!

"The miracle isn't that I finished, the miracle is that I had the courage to start."  John Bingham

Level 1 Ranger, Str 4, Dex 1, Sta 2, Con 2, Wis 3, Chr 3

 

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So I got about 7 pages of my dissertation written on Saturday!  Most writing I've done on it since 2010, and also got all of my tables for a research chapter update.  I'm hoping to get more time to write this evening once work/family stuff is knocked out of the way.

 

Whole30 is progressing nicely--Day 10 today.

 

Took Friday and Saturday off.  Sunday--meant to do a longer run, but a series of annoying events (couldn't find watch, headphones, etc.) cut down my time so that I settled for a quick 5k.  It was my first run in summer humidity, which I have. not. missed.

 

Today-- Crossfit workout at 6am

 

Strength--Push Press

5 reps @ 95

5 reps @ 115

3 reps @ 135

3 reps @ 155

1 rep attempt at 185--failed (it was off the floor and I honestly couldn't clean it.  I think if I had been taking this off a rack I actually could have pressed it).

 

WOD--Elizabeth

21-15-9

Squat Cleans (@ 95lbs)

Games Pushups

Took me 13:32

 

 

"The miracle isn't that I finished, the miracle is that I had the courage to start."  John Bingham

Level 1 Ranger, Str 4, Dex 1, Sta 2, Con 2, Wis 3, Chr 3

 

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Sorry for the stutter start postings.  Whole 30 Day 14 is here!!!

 

Here are my workouts the past several days:

 

Tuesday:

WOD with a partner--
 
Medicine Ball Situps w/20 lb ball--50 (really 100 situps because you'd do a situp without the ball and your partner would hand you the ball when you come back up, and that's 1 rep)
Rope Climbs--30 between the two of you (I did a short rope from my ass using only my arms--3 of these equals one climb)
6 x 400m sprints (each of us did 3)
Pullups--40 each (I did ring rows)
 
Wed: Rest Day]
 
Thursday--Stadium workout at Johns Hopkins!

400m run

3 rounds of:

stadium circuits (up one set of stairs, over to the next set at the top, then back down the next set of steps and over at the bottom is 1 circuit)
Pushups x 12
Situps x 12

Finish with 400m run

 

Today's workout (leaving in about 20 minutes):

WOD – 6 Min AMRAP

Burpees or Thrusters 5,7,9,11,13,15…

Pull-Ups 5,7,9,11,13,15…

rest 4min

WOD  - 40-30-20-10

Double Unders

KB Snatch (half on each side)

 

More dissertation work tomorrow--hoping to wrap up 1 of my 2 goals chapters!

"The miracle isn't that I finished, the miracle is that I had the courage to start."  John Bingham

Level 1 Ranger, Str 4, Dex 1, Sta 2, Con 2, Wis 3, Chr 3

 

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