Posted in Mental Health, Musings, Racing, Training, TWLOHA

Is racing for 12 hours a good idea?

As we were driving a couple of days ago my son asked me a question:

“Dad, do you think that (racing for 12 hours) is a good idea?”

I collected my thoughts and said:

“I have no idea.”

For the first time in decades I am embarking on a voyage that I have no idea how it is going to end. It is equal parts, exciting and scary. 12 hours is a ridiculously long time and I have no idea how my body is going to react and respond. I have never raced much more than 6 hours and that will only be bringing me to “half-time” of Toughest Mudder East. But as much as the physical part of the event is daunting, it is not what frightens me the most.

What I think is going to be even harder to predict is the mental aspect of the race. I am pretty sure that there will be a least one point in this race where I will be in a “dark place”. That place where I begin to question everything in front of me. Asking:

  • Why am I out here?
  • Why am I doing this?
  • Why does finishing this matter?
  • If I quit, who cares?

It is that final question that scares me the most and is one of the reasons wht I need to be mentally prepared for the race. Right now, I have all of my answers ready and I hope they stand up to the darkness of 3am knowing that the sun won’t rise for another 2 ½ hours and that I still have 2 ½ more hours to race. Standing up to aching legs,, sore feet and myriad other physical problems that might pop up along the way.

It is at that point or those points along the way where I will need to dig deep and remember all of those who don’t get the option of stopping their suffering any time they want. I will need to use that as a part of my motivation to get this done and to press on to the finish.

I you want to help me in this endeavor click on the photo at the bottom.

Until next time when I begin to dig deeper into my motivation and my questions.

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Posted in Life lessons, Musings

Back in Business

I have two things to share with the world.

  • I am still alive.
  • I am still racing.

For some reason, over the past 11 months I haven’t had the motivation to sit down and write new posts. Hopefully, I have turned a corner and will get back to writing and publishing new posts.

But that doesn’t mean my life has been boring. Since my last post in December 2017, quite a few things interesting things have taken place in and out of racing.

Outside of racing

  • I became an NASM Certified Personal Trainer
  • My son graduated high school and began college
  • I became a grandparent for the second time
  • And a bunch of other things that I can’t remember

Inside of racing – If I get truly motivated I may post a couple of race reports

  • I have gone 12 months without an injury for the first time in 3 years
  • I ran the Maryland Savage Race – May 2018
  • I ran the Palmerton Spartan Super – July 2018*
  • I ran the Washington DC Ragnar Relay – Sept 2018*
  • I ran the Washington DC Bonefrog Endurance Race – October 2018*
  • I ran a couple of local 5ks and even managed to win my age group in one of them. It was a small perk of getting old.

* These ones are most likely to get race reports written.

Until next time?

Posted in Life lessons, Musings, Rehabilitation, Training

Training Plan

I am embarking on a new training plan to see how it works for me. The plan will be based on a statistically insignificant number of participants me (n=1).

The theory that I am following is based on a couple of premises:

  • I need a bigger aerobic engine;
  • I spend too much training time in the “Grey zone” to hard to be easy and too hard to be easy; and
  • When I incorporate strength work into my routines, i.e. OCR specific elements like heavy carries, pull-ups, and burpees, I over tax my body. Then it takes too long to recover for my next workout.

What does this look and feel like in real life? I am not really sure since I have never been able to follow a plan like this before. I always fall back into the theory of if a little is good, than more is better. While, I know in intellectually that this is not true, for some reason I always fall short on my ability to follow through on this.

So that is why I need to have this public experiment on myself. Maybe this will be what keeps me on the proper path as I move forward this year. So instead of trying to do the same thing and getting the same results I am going to try something different. Instead of my training being done in my own little world, I am going to let the world see what I am doing and see if this can keep me accountable. So with that said, I intend to guide my training in a couple of ways which will be new to me.

First, I intend to have my workouts planned for the week so I don’t have to figure out what to do on a given day, I will know exactly what the day entails. The workouts will be based on what I get from Yancy Camp, but in fairness to Yancy and his amazing program, I won’t be posting my exact workouts, but only a generalized version of the workout for the day. I plan to publish my workout plan for the week on Sunday and then a wrap up for the week the following Saturday. Or these may eventually morph into one posting

Second, every morning when i wake up; when I am done with my workouts for the day; and and when I am done with my training for the week,  I will ask myself a couple of critical questions.

  • How do I feel?
  • Do I feel beaten up to the point where I can’t workout?
  • Am I recovering well day-to-day or am I struggling to keep going?
  • How do I feel at the end of the week?

I will also be doing something else new, tracking my heart rate variability to see if that quantitative measure in addition to the qualitative measures gives me a better insight into my performance.

For a change I intend to track these answers and attempt to determine a correlation between how the data tracks and and how well my workouts go.

Anyone who wants to join me on this journey is welcome to follow.

Posted in Injury, Life lessons, Musings, Rehabilitation, Training

Back to Training

While recovering and now as I prepare to get back to training, I have been listening to a several interesting fitness podcasts.  The Natural Running Network podcast by Richard Diaz, the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast and the Obstacle Order podcast. I am reading Ben’s Beyond Training book as well. What I have been trying to figure out is how to get back to training and how to train smartly so I don’t hurt myself, yet again. I really think staying healthy is a worthy goal.

A couple of days ago, I got a notification letting me know a new article was published on one of my favorite running blogs Relentless Forward Commotion. The post was about the value of heart rate zone training. As I read the post, I kept saying a few of things to myself:

  • I know that;
  • That makes sense;
  • Why can’t I do what is best for me?
  • Should I try to change my way of training?

Continue reading “Back to Training”

Posted in Injury, Life lessons, Musings, Rehabilitation

Reflection on an injury

As I sit and wait (literally and figuratively) for my foot to heal, the free time has given me the ability to look at my situation and spend some time in what I hope to be positive reflection.

The first thing that I need to admit to myself, is that I am enjoying the down time. Yes, as weird as this may sound, I am liking the time away from working out. After several years of training and competing the break is relaxing, both mentally and physically. Continue reading “Reflection on an injury”