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EricMN

EricMN's Jedi Training - The Grand Master's Trials, Part 1

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Main Goal

I'm going to Blue Mountain, Ontario, 12 October to 15 October for the 2017 OCR World Championships. During the last challenge, I qualified as an Age Group competitor through competition, and will be competing in the 50-and-over Age Group.

2016-OCRWC-grandmasters.jpg

I've been waiting since the beginning of November 2016 to say I'm one of them.

 

Now that it's happened, I need a new training goal. "Do well at OCRWC" isn't a specific enough training goal for me; I have no frame of reference for this competition. Also, I know I cannot podium in my age group (I know damn well who is in my group and I cannot make that leap in the next four months). I need a realistic training goal to keep me moving forward.

 

Fortunately, I've got a couple in mind.

 

First and foremost, I aim to repeat my OCRWC Qualifier Finish from the Chicago Spartan Sprint in consecutive weekends at the end of this challenge. Just because I don't NEED to qualify for OCRWC at Savage Race in Chicago on July 29, or Conquer the Gauntlet in Iowa on August 5, doesn't mean I shouldn't show up and push some other old guy to do his best at those same races. Right?

 

savage_chi2017.jpg

conquer_iowa2017.jpg

I've been posting these two images since last November, it would be weird to stop now...

 

Second, on August 12, I am running my first-ever Half Marathon. I would like to not finish last. I am still slow as a road runner and suck at distances. These are weaknesses that I can train in tangible ways. (Almost like I had planned this when setting up my 2017 calendar or something).

 

All that means that, like the Jedi Knights of old, I need to re-focus on my training.

 

The Jedi Trials

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According to Jedi tradition, every initiate needed to pass five Trials to become a Jedi Knight: Skill, Courage, Spirit, Flesh and Insight. I'll be using these five areas to continue to build on what I started so far in 2017 and fulfill my main goal during competition at OCRWC.

 

Trial of Skill

2016-OCRWC-Recap-002.jpg

I'm fairly obstacle-proficient in a Spartan Race, but whether that will transfer to this level is pretty hard to quantify as I'm going to see lots of obstacles in Toronto that I've never seen before on a course. I'm going to need to consistently work on obstacles to keep that skill level up.

 

Goal: At least one hour of obstacle skills training at Obstacle Academy every week

 

Trial of Courage

ocrwc.jpg

No lie, I'm a bit freaked out by the competition, now that I've qualified. The last thing I want to do is be the last man on the hill. Time to up my game. To do this, I have to build on the improvements I've made as a runner this year, and that can only happen if I stick to my training plan. My running coach, Josh, has given me a plan that works and that has produced tangible results. I need to stick to it, and I can't skip my weekly long runs.

 

Goal: Stick to my weekly running schedule and do not skip my weekend long runs.

 

Trial of the Spirit

OCRWC-bluemountain.jpg

I've been racing fairly flat this year and while the Montana mountains didn't kill me and my home Minnesota Sprint did not steal my soul per usual, hills are still a weak spot. OCRWC is 15K at a ski resort and my intel says I should kiss my legs goodbye, unless I start getting serious about my hill training.

 

Goal: 2x hill workouts per week.

 

Trial of the Flesh

2016-OCRWC-wreckbag.jpg

Just because Spartan Race ignores OCRWC doesn't mean OCRWC ignores Spartan Race staples, like heavy carries. They don't skimp on the heavy stuff, and I can't, either. However, this is a modified goal from what I've been working on for most of the year: I am not eschewing strength training, I just want to keep what I've got, while continuing to become leaner. It's a delicate balancing act, but I've got the general know-how to program myself for this.

 

I'm going to supplement Tuesday's Weightlifting class and Thursday's Boot Camp class by continuing the Grease the Groove Pull-up work I've been doing, while also doing accumulation work. 

 

Goal: Strength Training group classes 2x per week.

Goal: Accumulate 12 pull-ups or more per day.

Goal: Accumulate 100 push-ups or more per day on non-group training days.

 

 

Trial of Insight

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None of this all will mean a damned thing if I don't continue to take care of myself, and taking care of myself starts with nutrition and ends with rest. I'm going to give myself a small break from strict nutrition between 6 July and 9 July, as I will be in TX for a certain Chaplain's wedding, and also where I will eat In-n-Out and Whataburger because those are things I can't do here in the Midwest. I also may or may not eat all of the tacos. Otherwise, I know my macros, and it's time to try to stick to them on a daily micro-managed basis.

 

macros.jpg

 

Goal: Stick to my macros.

Goal: 6 or more hours of sleep per night.

 

Training Summary

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Modified schedule for the week ending 7/8 accounts for the Chaplain's nuptials. I'm going to be hungry after 10 miles, folks, plan a good breakfast.

 

Training goals will help keep my eyes on the next prize...

 

ocrwc_medals.jpg

It's still the black one.

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10 hours ago, EricMN said:

ocrwc_medals.jpg

It's still the black one.

 

I still can't get over how gorgeous these are, especially the black one.

 

10 hours ago, EricMN said:

First and foremost, I aim to repeat my OCRWC Qualifier Finish from the Chicago Spartan Sprint in consecutive weekends at the end of this challenge. Just because I don't NEED to qualify for OCRWC at Savage Race in Chicago on July 29, or Conquer the Gauntlet in Iowa on August 5, doesn't mean I shouldn't show up and push some other old guy to do his best at those same races. Right?

 

I love that you are still pushing yourself to be better instead of resting on your laurels. 

 

Oh, following, but that that was obvious!

 

Side note, when I clicked on your challenge to start reading, spotify decided to play Eminem's Lose Yourself. It was like your challenge had it's own epic theme tune. 

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Y'all are as awesome as always. Thanks for following along. I hope I don't disappoint.

 

Weekend Recap

jedi-council-observing-ahsokas-trial-s5ep20.png

 

I have not slipped into an alternate dimension, fallen down a wormhole, or otherwise disappeared. It was a busy weekend.

 

Firstly, my GF surprised me by messaging me and letting me know that we would be having my grandson for the weekend for no reason except that we hadn't seen him in a bit. I suspect the real reason is that since my son moved at the end of May and is now living with his mom, my GF is probably a little jealous of the near-daily Grandma time that other Grandma is now getting. So we grandparented.

 

Spoiler

20170630_Ridley.jpg

 

20170630_Grandma.jpg

 

Friday

 

Trial of Skill

Goal: At least one hour of obstacle skills training at Obstacle Academy

Schedule: Obstacle Academy workout.

Result: One hour of obstacle skills training at Obstacle Academy.

Warm up: Two passes through the Monkey Bars, five pull-ups, 20 push-ups, and a quarter mile on the incline trainer at 25%.

Working set: Included three rounds up and down the Incline Monkey Bars, two attempts at the Peg Board traverse, three sets of rings, two attempts at the Devil's Steps, and a quarter mile on the incline trainer at 25% to finish.

It's been a couple weeks since I was actively training, my callouses are pretty much gone and I stopped working before I tore holes in my hands.

 

Trial of Courage

Goal: Stick to my weekly running schedule.

Schedule: Hill/Incline work

Result: Half-mile on the Incline Trainer at Obstacle Academy as part of my workout.

 

Trial of the Spirit

Goal: 2x hill workouts per week.

Schedule: Nothing scheduled.

Result: Nailed it.

 

Trial of the Flesh

Goal: Strength Training group classes 2x per week.

Schedule: Nothing scheduled.

Result: Nailed it

 

Goal: Accumulate 12 pull-ups or more per day.

Result: Five pull-ups as part of my OA warm-up.

 

Goal: Accumulate 100 push-ups or more per day on non-group training days.

Result: 50 push-ups, 20 as part of my OA warm-up.

 

Trial of Insight

Goal: Stick to my macros.

Result: Didn't eat like a jackass, but didn't track last week, either. Zero week, we begin lock-down.

 

Goal: 6 or more hours of sleep per night.

Result: About 5 crappy hours Fri-Sat due to teething grandson duty.

 

Saturday

20170701_Mesmerized.jpg

Pretty sure they were watching Sesame Street. Not sure which one was more into it.

Trial of Skill

Goal: Obstacle skills training at Obstacle Academy

Schedule: Nothing scheduled.

Result: Nailed it.

 

Trial of Courage

Goal: Stick to my weekly running schedule.

Schedule: Weekly long run

Result: 7.5 mile trail run.

Spoiler

Love my local trails. Lebanon Hills tends to terrify me because that's where I destroyed my right ankle two years ago. I'm a better mechanical runner row, though, so that helps.

 

20170701_TrailRun01.jpg

 

20170701_TrailRun02.jpg

 

Trial of the Spirit

Goal: 2x hill workouts per week.

Schedule: Nothing scheduled.

Result: Nailed it.

 

Trial of the Flesh

Goal: Strength Training group classes 2x per week.

Schedule: Nothing scheduled.

Result: Nailed it

 

Goal: Accumulate 12 pull-ups or more per day.

Result: Hard to get in pull-ups with a six-month-old on your hip.

 

Goal: Accumulate 100 push-ups or more per day on non-group training days.

Result: 25 push-ups to warm up in the morning.

 

Trial of Insight

Goal: Stick to my macros.

Result: Wasn't tracking.

 

Goal: 6 or more hours of sleep per night.

Result: Another 5 crappy hours Sat-Sun with teething grandson.

 

Sunday

Trial of Skill

Goal: Obstacle skills training at Obstacle Academy

Schedule: Nothing scheduled.

Result: Nailed it.

 

Trial of Courage

Goal: Stick to my weekly running schedule.

Schedule: 3m VO2 Max run

Result: Yeah, I didn't think this week's schedule through completely, I've got a 5m run on 4 July (because FREEDOM!!!!) so I noped out of this one after the long run Saturday.

 

Trial of the Spirit

Goal: 2x hill workouts per week.

Schedule: Nothing scheduled.

Result: Nailed it.

 

Trial of the Flesh

Goal: Strength Training group classes 2x per week.

Schedule: Nothing scheduled.

Result: Nailed it

 

Goal: Accumulate 12 pull-ups or more per day.

Result: Hard to get in pull-ups with a six-month-old on your hip.

 

Goal: Accumulate 100 push-ups or more per day on non-group training days.

Result: 25 push-ups to warm up in the morning.

 

Trial of Insight

Goal: Stick to my macros.

Result: Wasn't tracking.

 

Goal: 6 or more hours of sleep per night.

Result: Another 5 crappy hours Sat-Sun with teething grandson, but added 2.5 hour nap in the afternoon after he went home.

 

Not a stellar "stick to the plan" weekend, but I could have made excuses for why I didn't work out Friday and why I didn't run Saturday and neither day produced excuses for those. Win.

 

2016-OCRWC-Medal-blur25.jpg

Time to start working to bring this into focus.

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On ‎03‎/‎07‎/‎2017 at 11:07 PM, EricMN said:

 

2016-OCRWC-Medal-blur25.jpg

Time to start working to bring this into focus.

 

Love this visual for you goals (even if I did think my internet was broken at first!).

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Jedicouncil2.jpg

Monday

Back to the grind, and it felt good, except for the mild tendinitis I am developing in my right knee.

Trial of Skill

Goal: Obstacle skills training at Obstacle Academy

Schedule: Nothing scheduled

Result: Nailed it

 

Trial of Courage

Goal: Stick to my weekly running schedule.

Schedule: Hill/Incline work

Result: Ski hill. See below...

 

Trial of the Spirit

Goal: 2x hill workouts per week.

Schedule: Ski Hill

Result: 30 minutes, 1.25 miles of slow climb, 467ft of elevation, not bad for a hot lunchtime quickie

 

Trial of the Flesh

Goal: Strength Training group classes 2x per week.

Schedule: This week is weird due to the holiday. Nothing scheduled

Result: Nailed it

 

Goal: Accumulate 12 pull-ups or more per day.

Result: 6 pull-ups. I need to move the bar, GF has a ton of stuff stacked in the walk-in closet and I feel like I'm going to fall on top of it all

 

Goal: Accumulate 100 push-ups or more per day on non-group training days.

Result: 60 push-ups

 

Trial of Insight

macros.jpg

Goal: Stick to my macros.

Target: Run Day macros

Result: 

KCal: 1772

Protein: 111g

Fiber: 24g

Sodium: 2688mG

A little light on protein, but otherwise good

 

Goal: 6 or more hours of sleep per night.

Result: Almost 7 good hours. Woke up refreshed and useful.

 

Tuesday

fireworks-07042012.jpg?w=930&h=400&crop=1

Celebrated Independence Day (or Treason of the Colonists day, as my friends in the UK probably do not call it). Participated in my annual 5m funishment run. I'm getting better over time, but man, is it an excruciatingly slow process. I am tired of being old and slow, but at 50 years old I am still less slow than I was. It's a daily reminder of where I was and for how long, and my daily fight is to not return to where I was.

 

fatman.jpg

It's here. I came from here. Also, that's a really weak beard.

 

Also walked 4 miles in the parade for the nth time and got a pretty spectacular sunburn.

 

Trial of Skill

Goal: Obstacle skills training at Obstacle Academy

Schedule: Nothing scheduled

Result: Nailed it

 

Trial of Courage

Goal: Stick to my weekly running schedule.

Schedule: 5 miles - Freedom Days "fun run"

Result: PR for 5 miles, even with the heat, humidity and hills. Missed my goal time by a minute and a half. Finished further from last than last year; for the first time was not passed by 80-year-old man with the withered leg who runs 10 miles every day. Progress.

 

Trial of the Spirit

Goal: 2x hill workouts per week.

Schedule: Nothing scheduled

Result: Nailed it

 

Trial of the Flesh

Goal: Strength Training group classes 2x per week.

Schedule: This week is weird due to the holiday. Nothing scheduled

Result: Nailed it

 

Goal: Accumulate 12 pull-ups or more per day.

Result: Nothing, the heat and the sun left me useless

 

Goal: Accumulate 100 push-ups or more per day on non-group training days.

Result: Also nothing

 

Trial of Insight

macros.jpg

Goal: Stick to my macros.

Target: Run Day macros

Result: 

KCal: 1869

Protein: 115g

Fiber: 36g

Sodium: 3559mG

A little heavy on the salty foods, but otherwise pretty good.

 

Goal: 6 or more hours of sleep per night.

Result: 6 hours. Was alert and even had a small warm-up before my 8 am run. Win.

 

On 7/4/2017 at 5:39 AM, Charlie_Quinn said:

Very jealous of the pretty trails.

 

The Mark Zuckerberg method?

Time to buy the boy a harness...

 

2 hours ago, Jarric said:

Love this visual for you goals (even if I did think my internet was broken at first!).

Heh. I didn't even think about that when I applied the blur. Probably should have added a disclaimer...

 

2016-OCRWC-Medal-blur25.jpg

More focus required...

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On 6/29/2017 at 5:37 PM, EricMN said:

No lie, I'm a bit freaked out by the competition, now that I've qualified. The last thing I want to do is be the last man on the hill. Time to up my game. To do this, I have to build on the improvements I've made as a runner this year, and that can only happen if I stick to my training plan. My running coach, Josh, has given me a plan that works and that has produced tangible results. I need to stick to it, and I can't skip my weekly long runs.

 

Scary...but oh so exhilarating!! You deserve to be at this Championship race, Eric. I've seen your flat out dedication to the sport of OCR over the last 3 years and just marvel at how far you've come. Keep it up, big dawg and show those other who EricMN is. All of them are OCR athletes that qualified, yes, that's true. But, not all of them are Jedi Masters like you ;) 

 

On 6/29/2017 at 5:37 PM, EricMN said:

I'm going to give myself a small break from strict nutrition between 6 July and 9 July, as I will be in TX for a certain Chaplain's wedding, and also where I will eat In-n-Out and Whataburger because those are things I can't do here in the Midwest. I also may or may not eat all of the tacos.

 

I'll see ya there brother!!

 

Wolf

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8 hours ago, EricMN said:

Result: PR for 5 miles, even with the heat, humidity and hills. Missed my goal time by a minute and a half. Finished further from last than last year; for the first time was not passed by 80-year-old man with the withered leg who runs 10 miles every day. Progress.

 

Everything about this is awesome!

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med_1471706364_00032.jpg

"Getting tired of dealing with your crap, I am"

Wednesday

Evidently I overdid things the past few days. I guess ramping up to over 20 miles in the space of three days when I have only averaged 10-12 in a full week over the past couple months is a bit much. Beween the 7.5-mile trail run on Saturday and five miles of pavement running and the four miles of the parade walk on Tuesday, my "mild knee tendinitis" only got worse during the day, to the point that I took down my standing desk at work, and cancelled on the group workout at the ski hill. The good news is that RICE protocol made a difference, and I'm not currently hating my life as I sit and type this.

 

It makes me feel edgy, because I was starting to feel good about checking off boxes on my schedule, but I'm going to skip anything that would involve working my knee today and let rest and recovery happen again. Conveniently, I'll be busy tonight anyway as I'll be getting on a plane and heading to Texas, so there wasn't much time to get much done today anyway. I'll try for an easy couple miles on the hotel dreadmill on Friday to see how things feel. If everything is copacetic, I'll plan on getting in some trail miles Saturday before I have breakfast with the Chaplain and some other Nerds prior to his nuptials.

 

Trial of Skill

Goal: Obstacle skills training at Obstacle Academy

Schedule: Nothing scheduled

Result: Nailed it

 

Trial of Courage

Goal: Stick to my weekly running schedule.

Schedule: Hill workout

Result: Nope. See above.

 

Trial of the Spirit

Goal: 2x hill workouts per week.

Schedule: Hill workout

Result: Nope. Knees suck.

 

Trial of the Flesh

Goal: Strength Training group classes 2x per week.

Schedule: This week is weird due to the holiday. Nothing scheduled

Result: Nailed it

 

Goal: Accumulate 12 pull-ups or more per day.

Result: 6 pull-ups

 

Goal: Accumulate 100 push-ups or more per day on non-group training days.

Result: 65 push-ups

 

Trial of Insight

macros.jpg

Goal: Stick to my macros.

Target: Rest Day macros

Result: 

KCal: 2589

Protein: 157g

Fiber: 36g

Sodium: 4053mG

Yeah, I blew my macros by almost a thousand calories. This was not a good day. Today will be better.

 

Goal: 6 or more hours of sleep per night.

Result: 6 hours. If I'd got to sleep earlier this would have been a great night.

 

21 hours ago, Wild Wolf said:

I'll see ya there brother!!

Race you to SA...

 

14 hours ago, Xena said:
23 hours ago, EricMN said:

Result: PR for 5 miles, even with the heat, humidity and hills. Missed my goal time by a minute and a half. Finished further from last than last year; for the first time was not passed by 80-year-old man with the withered leg who runs 10 miles every day. Progress.

Everything about this is awesome!

It didn't feel awesome. Thanks for the encouragement.

 

23 hours ago, EricMN said:

fatman.jpg

It's here. I came from here. Also, that's a really weak beard.

9 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

Impressive!  You have come a long way!

Thank you. I don't post pictures of that guy much anymore, and I often forget that a lot of folks don't know that part of my history.

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Hope you knee is feeling better after burgers, tacos and BBQ in Texas!  

 

Love your goals/challenge structure.  That black medal is really pretty!!!  

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Weekend Recaprangers_gonna_wedding-1024x768.jpg

Rangers Gonna Wedding: Congratulations, @Tanktimus the Encourager and Mrs. Tank! All the rest of you Rebels can identify yourselves as you wish.

 

Had a great time attending the Chaplain's wedding. My social anxiety only reared its ugly head a couple times, which made for a pretty awesome weekend of meet-and-greets. While I'm on the topic, did I miss spilling iced tea on anyone during breakfast Saturday? I don't want anyone to feel left out. 

 

From a fitness perspective, there was no running in Texas. My knee remained jacked all weekend. Whichever Nerds that wish to comment can attest to the presence of KT tape on my knee just for walking-around purposes on Friday and Saturday. Also, I spent the weekend eating like my inner fat man had escaped. Texans: After sacrificing my nutritional goals to science for the weekend, I have determined that, in a head-to-head competition, Whataburger is indeed pretty good, but In-n-Out Burger is still the holy grail of terrible-for-you fast food. You can argue with me, but you're wrong. #sorrynotsorry

 

It was mentioned during the weekend that I don't vacation well. After the better part of two days in the car and a eating all the things, I was fidgety and anxious and got in almost 2 miles of walking in the airport while waiting for our flight home. I was glad to be home with my kids. Time to get back to routine:

 

week1-1024x68.jpg

Blue Mountain isn't going to run itself.

 

2 hours ago, Terra said:

Hope you knee is feeling better after burgers, tacos and BBQ in Texas!  

 

Love your goals/challenge structure.  That black medal is really pretty!!!  

Thanks, Terra. The knee is improving, I'm planning to give it a test run later today.

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All of the pictures have been awesome to see! What an amazing nerd meet-up AND THEN a Tank wedding? I'm surprised Texas didn't explode.

 

What in the world is up with  @Sam Ashen's posture? 

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8 minutes ago, EricMN said:

Weekend Recaprangers_gonna_wedding-1024x768.jpg

Rangers Gonna Wedding: Congratulations, @Tanktimus the Encourager and Mrs. Tank! All the rest of you Rebels can identify yourselves as you wish.

 

Had a great time attending the Chaplain's wedding. My social anxiety only reared its ugly head a couple times, which made for a pretty awesome weekend of meet-and-greets. While I'm on the topic, did I miss spilling iced tea on anyone during breakfast Saturday? I don't want anyone to feel left out.

 

I remained tea-free, but you missed me crushing a full water-cup while trying to install a lid one-handed at In n Out on Sunday. :lol:  I got to reenact the emergency napkin protocol for my family, of whom only two were in the splash zone.

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