Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Time To Start Writing About My MISadventures Again

Let's take some time to look back on what's been happening since I've since left the MTB racing scene for the most part.

To address one thing, I will never completely leave Mountain Bike Racing completely.  If there is a race I can squeeze into my training I will via a WEMS race I will as I still love riding my bike as time would allow, mainly in the fall after my season wraps up.

Well shit, this is what's been going on for the say....oh I don't know....2 or 3 years.

Kidding....short story....I have a great family, great job, have coached some outstanding runners that I now compete against (Connor).  We've purchased a home and our daughter started 4K and is now been around the sun cinco years.  There's been some bad (lost my step dad a man I looked up to my young adult life as well as his father and also a nephew of his as well all in 2015 so forgive me if I give that year a big large middle finger and even larger F-U to last year from that aspect.

All of that aside, I've been riddled by the injury bug and healed in time to still have a good race year at least it was in October when I realized a dream of running college cross at the UWEC Blugold Invite and cruised to a PR in the 8K distance (28:55) *which was eclipsed already in 2016 Now it stands at 28:29 from an 11th place finish at this years Point Bock Run.

I also ran my first college indoor track meet on an indoor 5k at the UWSP Big Dawg Invite which wasn't horrible at 17:11.

2016 started off with a bang at the USATF WI Indoor Championships going under 10 minutes in the 3K at 9:54 which was good enough for a state championship at my age but just steps behind the overall winner at 9:51.

I would revisit the UWSP Indoor Big Dawg invite and challenge the mile and came out way ahead of where I thought I was with a 4:53 and I even beat a couple of college kids in the several strides of the race which felt awesome.

The breakthrough moment of the base building phase of this young season didn't come till this past weekend as I previously mentioned that PR I got at the Bock Run in Point.  I had a plan to stick to my pace in that 5:40/mi pace for the first 3 and turn it up with a mile to go and it was the right move for time but not for placing.  I was with a couple of guys for the first 3 miles of the race and somewhere around mile 3 I began to do something I thought couldn't happen, I tested my competition with surges going from 5:40ish to somewhere around 5:10 to see if they could respond and if so how quickly.  This would go on for the 3rd mile and these guys would fight hard and with such grit, but it was too much at mile 4 when I made a big surge and that busted up the pack, but then I had a job to do by holding on to that surge till I crossed the line.  I was always capable of running that pace, but I turned myself inside out doing it.  That day I played a lot with those surges in which was something I would normally have died trying such a confident strategy it's almost scary.  Wast it the right move?  Sure at the time it was cause I got a two place move up, but had I just went around them and made chase, the top 10 was just ahead of me some 30 seconds up....damn, but it's early on in the season, I'm still in base phase and the only form of speed work has come in some fartlek runs.

"So what's all this shit for?"  "Is that your best?" "How do you know when you've done all that you can do?" is something I asked at times, and well it goes like this.

This shit is for me, I love the competition and I get to be in great shape and set a healthy example for my 5 year old daughter who is just starting to take interest in running and soccer along with other activities such as dance.

An eye opener was last year when I did a Spartan Race and let me tell you that it is the true test of what a real athlete is....don't believe me ask Hunter McIntyre a pro who destroys just about anything he trains for.  Hell ask any OCR (Obstacle Course Racer) athlete and they will talk your ear off with all of the work and how fun it is to do these races while getting completely thrashed, or simply do one yourself.  My mission after the Minnesota Spartan last year was to come back in a year and enter as an elite.  This means becoming a complete athlete not just a runner cause you will get burned on the heavy lifts and carries, not just a lifter or crossfitter cause you gotta have endurance speed and agility to do this stuff in addition to incredible grip strength.

So in my one year transition to becoming an OCR Elite (hopefully elite) I've changed a lot about what being an athlete meant to me.  I lift heavy, I can do muscle ups, I can bang out 30+ pullups just cause, thrusters, squats, deadlifts, kettlebells, agility ladders, rope climbs, jump rope, incline treadmills, crossfit have all become welcomed additions to my madness and so that meaning of the word Athlete means being the best all around complete animal predatory in nature that doesn't rest till the kill is done.

I'm getting there though, but I have learned so much about myself and I feel pretty damn good about it.

So yeah at any given moment a workout or race sure as hell was my best....for that day, but don't mistake that for settling for it being the best I can do.  I don't think I can get to that point cause everyday I discover another level I wasn't at the day before and it's a great feeling.  There will be a day where I get to the end of a race and I will know that I did everything I could as an athlete and it will be nothing short of euphoric.

Not sure how I got here, I guess I loved doing so many things.  I love mountain biking, but I love running, I get quirky from there cause I love grunting in the weight room like some of these body builder types and crossfit armies.  I got to play on the crossfit equipment and climbed ropes like a spider monkey and was hooked.  Can't wait to see what happens next, can't wait to share what happens next.  I have more running races to do, but come June 25th the gloves are off and I will not be denied my dream.....being on the Spartan Podium.

Cool things

1. Hunter McIntyre -  Destroying Stone Cold Steve Austin's Broken Skull Challenge.  This dude is one a few I am following due to his confidence and ability as well as his shear "tear you apart" attitude.

2. Beet Elite - I've just started using this as a race day formula.  The science is there and it works for me.  Check them out.

3. Spartan Race - This event is legit, I can't say enough about the course designers, organizers, and volunteers.  It's a community of badassery and I love being in the middle of its macho madness

4.  Crossfit - Especially thrusters.  Think this stuff is for pussies?????  Do Fran unbroken then we can talk.  I've never experienced anything like it.  Hardest workouts on the planet in my opinion but you feel like a barbarian after you're done.  #worthit

5.  Epsom Salt -  I've had some issues with my leg over the last couple of years.  A bath in this stuff sure loosens things up a bit, don't knock it till you try it.

6.  Garmin Forerunner 235 - Wrist heart rate gives you all sorts of new data, plus tracks sleep movement steps and running cadence.  Perfect my A.D.D (I have it therefore I can joke about it so basck off) has something else to look at.

Till next time, don't be motivated, just get out and do it.