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On 8/4/2016 at 11:42 PM, Sloth the Enduring said:

Brother, I miss your race reports and tales of your kick-ass workouts. 


I second this sentiment.  You have encouraged me to work towards a Spartan some time in the future.

Rebooting Ranger and Legionary

"Only a Dead Legionary Gives Up" - Day of the Starwind

"It always seems bad at first, but then I find a way" - Samurai Jack

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Oh, hi.


First of all, the new Rogue One trailer dropped today.




And on that day not one bit of work was done.


Second... tomorrow is the Minnesota Terrain Race. Twin Cities folks who are interested in doing fun stuff that involves running around and climbing under, on and over stuff should come out as it's not really expensive and besides, I'll be there ALL DAMN DAY:



Wait, whatnow? What are you calling me out on? My "friends" are freaks.



Perhaps I could reason with them.



Seriously, it's like I'm a junkie and my dealers just keep pushing.


With the same result.


Push, push, push...


Like all the good junkies, I am at the very least totally self-aware:


So, tomorrow I am going to attempt up to three but no less than two 10K laps up and down the ski hill and through the single-track on the back-side of the hill and with obstacles that will break me in pieces if I'm not careful...


Who am I kidding, this sounds like a blast. 

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Just watched the video of that race and it looks like a lot of fun and a great one for multi-laps. If all OCR's were that cheap I'd never have a weekend free! Have fun!

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Minnesota Terrain Race, 13 August 2016




Bam. What a blast.


Buck Hill is a ski hill in the south Twin Cities suburbs. It's got a couple of pretty good black diamond slopes with about a 300-foot elevation change at its tallest peak. I've done some stealth training there - as it's technically not open to the public without permission - and was familiar with most of the track. The obstacles were mostly standard fare - three or four walls, a cargo net, some mud pits, rope climb, sandbag carry. There were some balance beams on the backside single-track trail. They have a couple unique pieces that makes it different than everyone else.


Before the start, racers must wait in a four-foot deep pool of water.



The guy in the green is my North Star Spartans teammate Chris, who is 85% hobbit.


A "Tarzan Swing" consisting of what appeared to be three fire hoses that you needed to traverse:

My NSS teammate Rob, who is pretty much who I want to be when I grow up.


Their signature obstacle is the Monkey Balls: 



The first lap felt like crap, my legs were heavy and I just didn't feel like I was moving at all. Also, my bandanna game was not on for some reason.


I can bomb the downhills, no matter how bad my quads are burning. This was one of the only times during the first lap that I was ahead of Ed and Ethan.


This was Terrain Race's first crack at this venue. They evidently had some course marking issues and only podiumed five people, total. Not five per group (M/W/Masters), five total, because literally everyone else either missed a course marking or failed the Monkey Balls, and most of them missed the course marking. Even a slow person like me missed a mile of the course on the first lap. I made it up later.



Ethan dropped out after Lap 1 when he turned an ankle. Ed kept putting his medals away. Don't know what he was thinking.


After all that "#3LJ" talk from beforehand, it was just me and Ty by the time the last wave of the day went out. Ty had already completed two laps of the 10k and one 5k. We left as the final wave was sent out on the course. Ty's legs were done and he needed to keep moving so they wouldn't lock up; I caught up to the back part of the last wave and watched as a bunch of people were struggling in and out of the mud pits and decided to stay with the last group in the last wave. It turns out it was a group of friends, one of whom had never run even a 5k road race before. I asked if it was okay to stick with them and make sure everyone finished and was able to complete the obstacles. They were okay with that. This is a concept I'm going to try to bring home with my NSS team, that we, as the biggest team and essentially the "hosts" on our home courses, need to make sure that even if we run for time, we can be ambassadors for these events. As a group, we do a good job mingling with the earlier waves as some of our faster people catch up with others on the hill...


Evidently these women finished the race with their boquets intact.


...but there's no reason that some of us who are seasoned veterans who don't blink on big walls and heavy carries can't be there when the last racers are out there, struggling up the hill, to encourage them and make sure that everyone has a chance to complete their race with the same support that we show those in the early waves. I was the last person to cross the finish that afternoon.


And my youngest son was there to bring me in.


#3LJ complete.



Still enough legs to pose for a deep-squat.


Awesome day at the hill. My legs were done and I wound up with a massive bruise on my right knee from one of the balance beams on the backside single track trails, but otherwise I'm in good shape with Breckenridge coming up in just under two weeks.



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On 8/12/2016 at 10:31 PM, Sloth the Enduring said:

That looks like a fun race. Any other good OCRs in our neck of the woods this year?

There's a few coming:


Muckfest MS, Aug 20 is supposed to be a pretty well-run, family-friendly event. Proceeds benefit the MS society. 


Mudman Kimball, Aug 20 has a solid reputation. They also have a winter race, the Iceman Challenge, in January or February that some of my NSS people have done.


Steeplechase Challenge, Aug 27 is a new event that I literally know nothing about but who was smart enough to paper everyone's cars at the Spartan Race in June. I'll be in Breckenridge dying on the mountain that weekend.



Rugged Maniac, Sept 10 is the last of the big OCR series that will come through town this year. I'll be there taking pics but it's a week before Killington and I won't be racing.


Muddy Warrior, Sept 17 is another one that some of the NSS people may be at.

Hammer Race, Oct 8. If I need to say something about this I'm going to cry.


On 8/13/2016 at 9:33 AM, Charlie_Quinn said:

Just watched the video of that race and it looks like a lot of fun and a great one for multi-laps. If all OCR's were that cheap I'd never have a weekend free! Have fun!

No kidding. I paid $15 for the unlimited lap option and it was still an absolute steal. Also, the monkey faces on the medals spin.



14 hours ago, Rooks said:

10K laps... that's absurd.  Hopefully you stayed in one piece sir.  

It was absurd and my final obstacle of the day was the 28 steps from the car to my apartment. I came out of it okay except for some bruises.

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First off, awesome updates.  You crushed it sir.  


Second, while not an obstacle race, I'll throw this one out as I'm 98% sure I'm doing it and it's absurd enough (at least one option) that it could be considered pseudo-obstacle racing.  




You might say to yourself... well that's just a 6k.  However, they have an option for carrying a 45lb water jug over that 6k.  If I can convince a grandma to come hang with kiddo for the day I'll be doing that in less than 2 weeks.

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I love reading your race write ups. You look like you're in your element in that video. Definitely a born OCR racer. 


That medal is amazing!

Current: Assassins / Instagram

  Previous: 1, 234, 5, 678910, 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, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44

2020 Races: 
CANCELLED! Spartan Trifecta: Beast: 18-APR / Super :11-JUL / Sprint: 12-JUL

Summer Nuts: 5/6-SEPT / Nuclear Blast: 12-SEPT / Nuclear team race: 04-OCT 

"You have the heart of a Rebel"

"I'll take that as a compliment"

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Tuesday, 30 Aug 2016 - Fit Fathers




Warm up:

30m walking lunges; 10m high kicks; 30m high knees; 5 inchworms; 5 scorpions

Half-mile run


First Set, 2 rounds:

Weighted OH lunges (9)

Weighted step-ups (9)


Second Set: 21-15-9-5-3-3


Box Jumps or Wt. Step-ups

DB OH Press



1m Hollow Hold

3m Tabata: Sit-ups, Leg Raises, Flutter Kicks



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2017 Arizona Spartan Sprint




We left by 6:30 and were at the venue - the Fort McDowell Rodeo Grounds - about 40 minutes later. Temps were perfect: it was chilly at about 40 degrees at the start, but there were no clouds and once the sun came out, it warmed to the mid-60s. We had about 8-10 of my North Star Spartans teammates at the race for the weekend; four of us were running in the Saturday competitive wave. We met up for the required pre-race photo opp.



We are an inclusive team. Pictured: a young redneck, a hobbit, a slow greybeard and an Ent. 


The course was perfect for me: rolling hills but no death marches, and enough visibility for the miles of horse trails and dry wash littered with rocks so I could see where I was hopping, which got me over the fear of re-injuring my ankle yet again.



Also, it was gorgeous.

The whole race felt like an out-of-body experience. I felt less like I was doing the obstacles and more like everything I was doing was happening to someone else. There were people doing burpees at the tire flip, which was no joke, brand-new 400-lb (confirmed) Yokohama tires with no way to get your hands underneath, and I had no problems there. Eight-foot wall, no problems there. Monkey bars were 100% arm-over-arm, and it felt like this:



I felt like I had better technique, though.

I was running clean - 100% obstacle completion - until I hit the stadium at the end.



I LOVE this venue. Every race should have a stadium finish near or at the end, with bleachers where spectators can watch. It feels awesome as a competitor.


The Stadium gauntlet was The Olympus - which I'd never seen before, it had debuted at the Spartan World Champs in October - a simplified Rig that was all rings, the Atlas Stone Carry, and the Spear Throw. I had a strong shot at completing everything.


Then I lost my footing with three steps left to go on Olympus.





I killed the rig, dead.














Like a big-belly BOSS.


Blew through the Atlas carry like it wasn't even there, then missed the spear throw for only the second time in the last ten tries, for 65 burpees (30 each for Olympus and the Spear throw, plus 5 for the Atlas Stone as part of the obstacle). I thought I was going to puke while doing burpees after the spear throw, but held it together to finish.


It was my single best finish, EVER. It was the fastest time I've ever put up outside a Stadium Sprint. If the Competitive and Open classes were still combined, like last year, here's where I would have finished:


Overall: 32.3%

Men: 39.5%

Age Group: 37.1%


I knew I wasn't going to qualify for OCRWC during this race, but was using it as a guide to determine my work for the remainder of the year, and that's exactly what I got out of it. I was 15 minutes off the qualifying time for the Men's 50-54 age group. I was 24 minutes off last July at Savage Race. I'm making up ground.


And I did this with a massive head cold.

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2017 Arizona Spartan Super



I woke on Sunday morning feeling worse than I did Saturday: tired, congested, lacking energy of any kind. Considered bagging the whole thing, but then my race calendar went through my head and I honestly wasn't sure how I was going to get in another Super during 2017 and didn't want to have to worry about scheduling another expensive travel weekend, so I got ready and off we went.



Our colors stand out like a beacon in a sea of black compression shirts and shorts. Random dude from Iowa on the left. I hope we see him at more events.


It was about 10-15 degrees warmer at the start than Saturday. Still, I wasn't sure I was running until I crossed the start line. I felt like nine miles of bad road and I hadn't even hit the 8.47 miles of No Road we were about to tackle. 


The Arizona course is hilly but there are no death marches and I still felt like I was dying from about Mile 2 on. By the time we hit the tire flip on Sunday, I was DONE, and we hadn't even hit any interesting obstacles yet. I managed to gut out the next 6.5 miles, passing all obstacles - 8-foot wall, rope climb, "Great Wall" (a big block retaining wall with a rope climb that makes the course unique):



...until I hit the Twister, which is new for 2017. It's this thing:


... and my grip gave out with three rungs left to go. I was annoyed, I can do that thing. Tip for future competitors: move so that the next rung you grip is moving toward you instead of away.


The other new obstacle this year is The Bender, and it wasn't tough:



The picture is deceptive; I was able to grasp the third rung from a standing position and pull myself up to easily stand on the rigging and climb over. If I had been a hobbit, this might have been tougher.


Everything went downhill again after I hit the Arena, again. I had no upper-body strength left and fell off Olympus two or three holds in.



Probably on the next step after this.


They had changed the rig overnight, and it went ascending horizontal bar to rings to baseball to short rope to rings to bell. I made it to the baseball but couldn't transition past the rope.



Didn't even feel good here.


I missed the spear, again.


30 burpees over 8 miles turned into 120 burpees over 8.47 miles and I finished in a weak 3:05. I wasn't last in my Competitive division, but I was far closer to last than I wanted to be, and I would have been on the downhill side of the Open curve (58% overall, 64% Men, 58% Age Group). Still, on a day when I literally thought about jumping back over the fence and going back to the hotel to sleep until it was time to fly home, finishing was a minor win.


Plus this year's medals are cool.




Next up: Montana Beast in May.

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33 minutes ago, Sloth the Enduring said:

You killed it brother. You'll get that 15 minutes easy.

Thanks, Brother. Three more feet of Olympus and 18 inches of accuracy in the Spear and I shave off 10 minutes, but that's the hard part to predict. I can earn that 15 on the trail. I'm going to get it.


33 minutes ago, Sloth the Enduring said:

It's interesting how close the master's group and the open group is.

Grand Masters. Spartan breaks down age groups to 5-year chunks. https://www.spartan.com/en/race/detail/1713/results?fullResults=true


I'm always amazed at how fast some of the Open runners are. For instance, on Saturday, the top Open finisher would have put up a top-30 finish in the Elite/Pro wave. Of course, in the Open waves, you're not subject to the same rules as the Elite or Competitive waves (I ran Competitive - all the rules, none of the prize money), so who knows if that guy completed all the obstacles and did all his Burpee penalties, but that's the point to the Open waves, anyway.

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Standard Workout Warmup

I have a standard warm-up that I have been using with my clients for over a year that helps to warm up your body without becoming a mini workout. This will move the body through a full range of motion, starting with a lower intensity and progressing, while increasing tissue temperature, increasing flexibility, and reducing stiffness. I also use my warm-ups to reinforce fundamental movement mechanics. ALWAYS PAY ATTENTION TO HOW YOU FEEL AND TRY TO EMPHASIZE PROPER FORM.


Straight-legged high kicks: 15 reps each side or 15 meters and back again.



Straight-legged touchdowns: 15 reps each side or 15 meters and back again. 



High Knees Walk/Run: 30 seconds of high-knees jogging or in place, or 15 reps each side with a high-knee pull. This will activate your hip flexors and your quads.



Depending on range of motion, I might encourage some people to go with higher knees than this.



Butt Kicks: 30 seconds, either jogging or in place.



Jumping Jacks: 30 seconds of standard gym-class jumping jacks


Inchworm Walkout: two to four reps




I'm putting this here so that I can link to it from other workouts I may post. Feel free to crib.

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Hey, look, it's pretty dusty in here.


It's a better place to go than ~away~. Let's freshen things up a bit...


Monday, April 29

I've been struggling for a while. I'm not the guy who I was Up There in this thread.


I haven't worked as a personal trainer in a couple years. I did qualify in both 2017 and 2018 for OCRWC as a Grand Master Age Group competitor, but since I've fallen back in the pack. Arthritis and other commitments, mostly. And excuses. I haven't worked out regularly in months. I've only recently started running again. I'm rebuilding.


Monday was a good start. I ate well and I made sure I got to the gym to work out.




2 rounds of each exercises, 1 minute AMRAP w/30 second rest. Smoked.


Nutrition was on-point but too light.


KCal: 1650-1850

Protein: 125g

Carbs: 100g

Fat: 100g



KCal: 1607

Protein: 65g

Carbs: 109g

Fat: 105g


Add in a run and that's a Good DayTM.


I know how to do this. I've been saying that for months. Now it's time to stop saying things and do them.


Yeah, yeah...

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  • EricMN changed the title to EricMN - BattleFront

Thursday May 2

Another positive day. Boot camp:




The set was to do the odds first, then the evens. 


Nutrition was a little heavy at 2136 calories. Didn't run; working on getting back in shape so that I can do strength training and still have legs. I've been down this road before. I'll get where I need to go.



Finished my latest woodworking project.



Saturday, May The Fourth Be With You





Go!Spring 7.5k Trail Run. I didn't feel like running. I almost got back in my car and went home. I didn't go home. It was a gorgeous morning. This was a nice, low-key event, like most trail races appear to be. The park was ALL HILLS, and I'm old, fat, and out-of-shape. I did not finish last.


I enjoyed the company of other struggling runners who are just out there to be better versions of themselves. Everyone in the back of the pack helped keep me moving forward and one girl thanked me just for moving forward, because she was trying to catch me, she couldn't catch me, but she was close enough that she kept trying. This made me happy.


I'm feeling better today than I have in a while, even though spring allergies are kicking my ass. I feel optimistic. If I'm not careful, I'm going to smile.

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Monday 6 May



Gorgeous day outside, if a little cool. Temps at lunchtime were in the low- to mid-50sF. My seasonal allergies were kicking my ass like a ninja. I sucked it up and went to the local trail and slogged through 2.2 miles.



Spring is finally here. There's no snow on them there hills. I'll verify this on Wednesday.


Nutrition was spotty. We had a meeting with our Corporate Overlords in which "snacks" were provided. MOstly it was fruit and cheese plates. They also had fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies the size of my head. I had one. I don't feel bad about it, but it wasn't a stellar weekend either, and I can do better so that I don't fall into bad habits.



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Tuesday 7 May


Another gorgeous day. Another Fitnessing. This is starting to feel familiar, although it will feel more familiar when I stop being as fat and start regaining some muscle tone and strength.



AMRAP with 150m run breaks between each exercise. I collected 1.5 miles.



I did full squats instead of squat jumps, they're easier on arthritic knees.


Nutrition was ~okay~. We had homemade chicken tacos for dinner. I miss San Antonio street tacos.

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Thursday 9 May



The day started out cloudy and rainy and cold and finished decent. Also, there was fitnessing.




5 minute AMRAP for each board, then move to the next board.



2x through the circuit.

And whiteboards.


Family decided we should go out for dinner. In an upset, I did not have to pay. I had a nice salmon filet, broccoli and green beans. It was a Good DayTM.

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