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As with many weight loss stories, there tends to be a period where we may or may not gain some of that weight back. For some, it’s a complete 180 degree turn and they gain it all back due to many reasons: lack of sustainability, lack of continuing motivation, traumatic event, poorly developed habits, or pizza. For me, it was a gradual gain of weight over the span of 3 years after losing 75 pounds. But first here’s a recap of my weight loss story.

July 2014, my starting weight was 210 lbs. After my post graduation trip, I gave up alcohol for 90 days straight. Lost about 20 lbs from removing alcohol and the accompanying late night foods that normally followed.

October 2014, I started P90 with Jay Flores as my coach. Went from 188 to 164.

February 2015, I completely give up alcohol FOREVER.

April 2015, I start 21 Day Fix Extreme. Finished around 154 lbs.

May 2015, I run my first OCR – Spartan Stadium Race at Miller Park in Milwaukee.

June 2015, I start P90X3. Even though it was a 90 day program, I think it took me about 4 months, because I had to repeat a few weeks from skipping workouts.

September 2015, I hit my leanest weight at 134 lbs.

By the end of 2015, I had run 3 OCR races.

In 2016, I had run 8 OCR races.

In 2017, I did 15 races and had a perfect season — all races with 100% obstacle completion. I also qualified and raced at Obstacle Course Racing World Championship in Canada.

In 2018, I did 3 races, and began doing CrossFit in August.

April 2019, I’m weighing in at 169.2 lbs.

My weight gain story isn’t as dramatic as others’, but it’s one of the most relatable. We gain a few pounds here and there and we think nothing of it. We tell ourselves, “it’s just water weight” or “I had a big meal this weekend, that’s all.” Pants get a little tighter, shirts a little more snug, but we don’t mind it too much. Then one day, we get tagged in a photo on Facebook, and it’s like WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED.

I mean I definitely noticed that I was gaining weight each time I stepped on the scale. My friends and I even have an accountability group where we check in on each other to make sure we’re eating healthy and working out, so I thought I was doing the right thing. For the last year, I tried to lean out, but my lack of consistency meant that I would also have a lack of results. I knew I was putting on muscle from doing more heavy weight lifting due to CrossFit, but at the same time, I also knew that my body fat was increasing too. I didn’t want to be another one of those guys that say, “it’s bulking season” but really, they’re just giving themselves an excuse for their current state. I would always look at them and think in my head “well I didn’t know bulking season lasted all year.” But now I’m the person in the mirror I’m saying it to.

So what was the trigger for me to kickstart this new run to lean out? After I started going to classes at CrossFit Citrine and developed that desire to want to become a coach, it clicked.

Previously, I lost weight to prove to myself that I could do it. This time, it’s to prove to others that they can do it.

Like most gyms or group based fitness, there’s the committed athletes and then there are those who are trying, but don’t fully believe either in themselves or the process. There are hundreds of books written to help someone believe in themselves, and usually it’s something that is developed intrinsically. But to develop belief in the process, one of two things needs to happen.

  1. They see the results of the process for themselves.
  2. They see the results of the process for others.

Since I can’t control the actions of other people, I decided to focus on what I can control.

And so, I set myself up similar to how I had done it in the past.

  • I took my before pictures.
  • I set up my accountability system with my friends.
  • I decided my workout routine: one hour afternoon class at CrossFit Citrine, 5 days a week with Thursday and Sunday as rest days.
  • I had coaches to help guide me to make sure I was moving well and showing up.
  • I decided to retake control of my eating habits by following a Renaissance Periodization Diet Template — to simplify it, I just ate whole unprocessed foods for 80-90% of the time (eat meats and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, no added sugar).
  • I established how long I would strictly adhere to this: 12 weeks (just under 90 days).
  • And most importantly, I had a strong why: to prove to the athletes at CrossFit Citrine that if you CONSISTENTLY eat well and just show up to class 3 to 5 times a week for 1 hour, the results will follow in time.

Like many, I sit at a desk when I work. If you have just one hour of your day to workout, that’s enough. And you don’t have to be 100% perfect when eating, but you have to at least try to eat well for 80% of the time. The goal is to keep it as simple as possible so you can be consistent in showing up. Consistency is key.

I also wanted to do something that was sustainable so I don’t get burnt out which happened to me during my OCR career. I got bored of the workouts and so when my routine of exercising was broken, all the good habits that accompanied it also dwindled. It’s important that once you get the momentum going, you only need to add small pushes to keep the wheel turning. And just because these 12 weeks are over doesn’t mean I’m going to throw all these good habits away. I’m here to play the long game.

Starting April 9, 2019 and “finishing” July 2, 2019, I have gone from 169.2 to 158.0. My pants aren’t as tight anymore. My energy levels are higher. My eating habits are in check. My shirts aren’t as snug. Performance in the gym has noticeably increased. And my hair is shorter.

To end this post, I’m going to leave you with a graph, because who doesn’t like graphs.

Image result for the plateau of latent potential
We often expect progress to be linear. At the very least, we hope it will come quickly. In reality, the results of our efforts are often delayed. It is not until months or years later that we realize the true value of the previous work we have done. This can result in a “valley of disappointment” where people feel discouraged after putting in weeks or months of hard work without experiencing any results. However, this work was not wasted. It was simply being stored. It is not until much later that the full value of previous efforts is revealed. – from Atomic Habits

Being an Obstacle Course Racing athlete was awesome. It was the reason I was able to stick to my weightloss goals for the long run. I developed performance goals beyond just the initial goal to lose weight. And the idea of conquering every obstacle you encountered, the camaraderie and community aspect of climbing over walls together, and being able to travel the country every other weekend to race with your friends was a blast. The only thing that I didn’t enjoy too much was what I had to do during the weekdays: run…a lot.

In my 27 years of life, I quickly realized that I constantly crave new experiences. Routine is my enemy. But let me be more specific, routine workouts are my enemy. I loved everything about OCR except for the running part — which is about 85% of the entire race. This also meant that I had to supplement all of my standard workouts with runs. The idea of the same monostructural movement 4 to 5 times a week was so boring to me. So after I successfully accomplished all the goals I set for OCR, there was no more interest for me to keep racing competitively.

Enter CrossFit. My first ever real exposure to CrossFit was in 2017 when the CrossFit Games moved to Madison for the first year. Prior to this, I thought CrossFitters were just a bunch of bulky athletes that had no engine and only did pull ups like a dolphin. I honestly had no idea what or who I was watching at the Games, but I remember seeing the 60 year old masters athletes just crushing it. They were throwing big weight around, running fast, pulling sleds, doing gymnastics, and what really caught my eye was their performance on the obstacle course. I mean we have impressive masters athletes in OCR, but this was just something I’ve never seen before.

Goals for August 2052

The 2017 Games occurred in the middle of my best OCR season, so I didn’t revist CrossFit again until February 2018. The CrossFit Open was going down which is the worldwide competition where people would complete announced workouts for the next 5 weeks. This was a way the average CrossFit athlete could see how they stack up with people all around the world, and how the elites would qualify to the next stage. When I saw 18.Zero (the workout before the official ones) get announced, I decided to give it a shot for fun.

The workout was

  • 21-15-9 Reps for Time of:
  • Dumbbell Snatches (50/35 lb)
  • Over-Dumbbell Burpees

All I remember is how silly I felt doing a high intensity workout in the corner of Planet Fitness behind all the ellipticals and treadmills.

To think, that someone felt silly…working out…in a gym…because they were pushing hard, creating sweat puddles, and panting louder than everyone else.

But that’s a whole ‘nother topic about globo gyms that I won’t get into right now. I remember doing 18.1, 18.2, and then 18.3 where I encountered double unders for the first time! I was like, ‘WHAT IS THIS MAGIC?!”

Double unders was my first encounter of a CrossFit movement that I could not immediately pick up, and I’m usually pretty good at learning new movements within 20 minutes. This, however, was the first movement that I couldn’t get, not because of lack of strength, but it was just because I couldn’t get my brain wrapped around it. For the next few weeks, I remember practicing double unders 10 minutes every other day. I eventually got them 3 weeks later, but that was just my first taste of so many more CrossFit movements that I would have to work for more than 20 minutes.

For the rest of 2018, I started digging into all the CrossFit documentaries on Netflix, then the Road to the Games series on youtube, then the vlogs (specifically the Day in the Life Of w/ Team CrossFit Mayhem). I became a HUGE fanboy after consuming all that content. That’s when I really fell in love with the sport of CrossFit and the athletes. At the time I still hadn’t really started training exclusively in CrossFit. I was pretty much dragging my feet and half-assing my OCR workouts — I think I did a total of 4 races all season in 2018. On occasion I would hop in the group CrossFit workouts at my friend, Lisa’s gym, and each time was a blast because each workout was a surprise.

When the 2018 CrossFit Games rolled around, I knew all the athletes and their stories which just made it so much more entertaining. By this time I was basically hooked on to CrossFit. After the 2018 Games, I went from drinking a glass of the CrossFit kool-aid to doing a kegstand. I found a sweet free online resource of programmed workouts by the MisFit Athletics crew where they would release a new workout everyday. Cycle 1 began about a week right after the games, so it was perfect timing for me to fully commit to the training methodology. And so began my CrossFit journey.

There are two big reasons why I found CrossFit way more appealing than how I was training in the past. The reason I loved obstacle course racing so much was because of the obstacles. When you encountered one in a race, you could either conquer it or spend 4 hours trying until the race officials pulled you off the course. When I encountered double unders, that was CrossFit’s version of OCR obstacles for me. There are just SO MANY movements in CrossFit that are high skill movements and require a TON of practice.

The second reason (and biggest) was the fact that CrossFit is constantly varied. Every single day the workout is a surprise. My initial weight loss journey consisted of at-home programs which was great, but after awhile it got dull, and I would need a new program every 60 to 90 days. Even within each program there would be maybe 7 to 10 workouts for the entire 3 months. My desire for novelty was just too strong to ignore. Add in running as a workout supplement to workouts that I’ve done over and over — my motivation to workout went to almost 0. What I also love about the concept of constantly varied is that it doesn’t mean random. CrossFit is not a collection of random workouts everyday; there’s a method to this madness, but I won’t get into that. Never before have I ever gone to bed anxious and excited to find out what the next day’s workout is going to be.

I get the same jitters as I used to get every Friday night before an OCR on Saturday morning — except with CrossFit, it’s EVERY night.

Add in the community aspect of shared suffering during the workouts, and you’ve got all the right lures to hook me in.

On the next episode of Anousone’s CrossFit story, you’ll find out how I fared training mostly solo and self-teaching the CrossFit movements.

Well, it’s been awhile (sometime in 2017 to be exact) since I’ve last logged anything related to my journey. So here’s a quick recap / state of the union.

At the end of 2017, I completed my personal athletic goal of competing at Obstacle Course Racing World Championships in Canada which was an absolute blast. It was the first time I ever did three back to back to back races in one weekend.

In 2018, I also took a step back from building my business with LifeVantage — to be honest, the flame sort of fizzled out. I believe it was caused by a combination of misaligned vision between me and the corporate team, as well as the target market that I envisioned myself leading versus the reality of the target market the company actually acquires. So I found myself in a transitional period which brought a lot of new opportunities in for me to grow my software consulting business. I was able to bring on three long term clients and a handful of one-off projects.

On the fitness side of 2018, there was no more enthusiasm for me to continue growing in the sport of OCR. Being able to compete at OCRWC was my pinnacle achievement as a casual mud runner. I’m also not a huge fan of running in training, so if I can’t enjoy the process, there’s no point in continuing. I felt as if setting a new goal in OCR would only happen because that’s what my OCR friends would expect from me instead of what I actually want to do. However I will be forever grateful to OCR and the community. OCR gave me a target goal to reach during my initial weight loss journey — it became less about just losing weight and more about doing things I never thought I could have before with people that share the same obstacles.

So in the transition period of my fitness life, I wanted to explore and try different training regimens. I even started a Youtube channel that would document me visiting different gyms around the country where I could dabble in different fitness domains. However that quickly ended, because I found something to satisfy my thirst for constant novelty — CrossFit.

First I fell in love with the sport of CrossFit. The CrossFit Games moved to Madison in 2017 where I was exposed to the sport for the first time. I had no idea what or who I was watching when I went to go check it out, since I was still focused on OCR at the time. Then I dug into all the documentaries, Youtube vlogs, and other media, and I immediately got hooked. The 2018 CrossFit Games rolls around, but this time I’m a fanboy. Right after the games, I decided to actually start doing CrossFit (August 2018).

After falling in love with the sport of CrossFit, I then fell in love with the method of CrossFit. I’ll explain in a later post why CrossFit fit me so well. However that passion for the method led me to the theory and the reason why CrossFit was created. Fast forward eight months, and now I’m doing everything I can to develop and grow my knowledge base to help others achieve their own personal goals through CrossFit.

And that’s my brief synopsis on what’s happened since where we last left off.

After qualifying for OCRWC in June, I used the rest of the races this season to get me ready to survive the future weekend in Blue Mountain, Ontario.

July

FINALLY! An OCR/Ninja gym has come to Wisconsin! Legendary Fitness brought to Milwaukee by Trevor and Sara Paull is exactly what so many of us OCR addicts in the area have been waiting for. We finally have a place to train for specific obstacles like Conquer the Gauntlet’s stairway to heaven obstacle, tarzan swings, salmon ladders, pegboard and rigs. Aside from now training at Legendary Fitness, I started July off with a trip to Denver and got some sweet hikes in with great views.

Then we made a trip as a team to support Lisa and LeEarl at Tough Mudder X. TMX is a beast of a course where 100 handpicked athletes were selected for the 1 mile race with 10 obstacles and 10 workouts. The race definitely catered towards OCR folks with CrossFit experience. I even did a practice run with Lisa and absolutely died.

July was a great month of training with the new mix of the ninja gym and doing CrossFit with Lisa to help her prep for TMX. To cap the month off, I ran Savage Race Chicago which I’d considered my first real race of the season, because of mandatory obstacle completion and the number of elite athletes.

Since I already accomplished my #1 goal of qualifying for OCRWC, I treated Savage Race as just another training day. Although the course was flat and I knew OCRWC was going to be on a mountain, they did emulate the grip strength exhaustion by placing most of their rigs near the end. They had the Savage Rig, monkey bars with pipe traverse, twirly bird, and mad ladders to finish the course. I breezed through the rig and monkey bar/pipe combo, but spent way too much time on twirly bird. My grip wasn’t exhausted, but I just kept letting go whenever I didn’t get a good grip on a hold. Only when I said to myself to stop overthinking it and treat it like I’m playing around at a ninja gym did I actually get through it.

The lesson there is to just trust in my training and that I’m just monkeying around and having fun.

August

August was a month of new experiences, new friends, and big wins! In the first weekend of August, the CrossFit Games took place. For the next three years, Madison, WI will be home to the CrossFit Games, so I’m super pumped about that. I have never seen so many fans of a sport that actually participate in it; and I can’t forget to mention how totally ripped everyone was. Usually at sporting events, it’s big beer bellies and spectators that are used to watching from their couches. Until this year, I had never really understood what CrossFit was until I tried it myself and now have seen it from a competitive perspective. I thought OCR was nuts, but these guys and gals are just as crazy!

In the same weekend on Saturday, the squad and I went to Conquer The Gauntlet Iowa! Last year, I was taken out by 3 obstacles: slackline, Stairway to Heaven, and Pegatron. My goal for CTG this year was to be able to just finish with my belt. CTG, in my opinion, has the hardest obstacles in all of the races I’ve been to. Fortunately, I’ve been putting in a lot of upper body work at Legendary Fitness.

The first tough obstacle of the race I encountered was their rig, and unlike other race series, CTG’s rig is one of the tougher ones. The rig has about a 6 foot gap between their holds instead of the usual 4 to 5 feet. CTG also uses more difficult holds like an upside down bowling pin, a banana grip, and tiny grenades. When I got to the rig, there was a pretty big line already, especially behind a lane that looked easier than the rest. And because it looked easier, I decided to hop in that line too, but I quickly found out that it was not easy at all!

Since I didn’t want to waste anymore time waiting in line, I decided to go for a harder lane – one with a bowling pin, banana, AND a grenade. The upside down bowling pin seemed impossible, but then I saw someone grab it in a way that I didn’t even think about! After seeing that, I was able to crush the obstacle and move on to the next obstacle: the dreaded slackline.

I’ve been working on my slackline balance in the few weeks before CTG, but it’s a whole different ball game with OCR shoes and mud. I spent a whole twenty minutes at the slackline before finally getting across! The next tough obstacle after slackline was Pegatron! I haven’t touched a pegboard for a full year up until that point. My first attempt failed, because I chose a lane that had a slight tilt that worked against me. My second attempt failed, because I tried using brute strength to get across. My third attempt was a success when I decided to implement Lisa’s technique of treating it more like monkey bars, so I swung underneath for each peg instead of traversing sideways. I can’t believe I got across Pegatron faster than I got across the slackline.

The last “difficult” obstacle of the race was going to be Stairway to Heaven which was a piece of cake! Because of how so much harder the Legendary Fitness version of Stairway to Heaven was, CTG’s didn’t even seem like a stopping point at all. With all of the tough obstacles conquered, I succeeded in keeping my belt! Goal accomplished!

The only other race I had in August was Rugged Maniac. It was a fun race and good time hanging out with everyone from Wisconsin OCR.

September

The month of September was focused on getting ready for OCRWC, so that meant doing a lot of things that I normally don’t do. I spent a bit more time training on the ski slopes with the squad. Since the race is on a mountain, getting a lot of laps on hills was going to be necessary. It was death, especially when we added wreck bag carries to the laps.

Running longer distances was going to be another challenge for me. All of my races since I started running OCRs were under 7 miles, and OCRWC was a 15K which is approximately 9.3 miles. I signed up to run Tough Mudder last minute, because it would force me to run 10 to 11 miles, since I knew I wouldn’t want to do it by myself. I couldn’t imagine running that far without friends and obstacles — it would be so boring.

I capped off September with a final race before OCRWC at Terrain Race Chicago. That was another fun race with just about EVERYONE in the OCR midwest community. It was a great time before we saw each other in two weeks in Canada.

 

And with that, concludes the training and qualification journey to OCR World Championships in Blue Mountain, Canada! It’s time to try and not die, but also to create new memories and experiences with amazing teammates!

Womp womp womp…

After a pretty solid 16 weeks of training came a period of necessary recalibration. Week 17 (Feb 27) and week 18 (March 6) were two weeks where not much was done. I got a workout or two here and there, but my consistency just went out of the window. I only ran a total of 13.55 miles for the two weeks put together!

There were a few causes to this which taught me some things about myself. On both weeks, it was an open schedule which meant that it was up to me to figure out what I wanted to do each day since there weren’t any workouts assigned.

That was the first mistake. When it comes to my fitness, apparently I need a strict schedule to keep me on track. It’s likely one of the reasons why I failed at living a healthy lifestyle before I met Jay, because there was no structure in the beginning. So the solution is to always have a predetermined workout regimen set for the week beforehand.

What gets scheduled, gets done.

The second learning experience is the power of expectations. When it warmed up outside and I was able to start running outdoors, I had begun expecting that weather to continue. So when it became freezing outside again, my motivation went out the window, because my excitement to run outside was shot down.

There’s a story that illustrates how detrimental certain expectations can be. On an 18-hour overseas flight filled with entrepreneurs and business people, the passengers knew that they would not have internet or Wi-Fi for the majority of the flight. Nearing the end of the flight, the pilot comes on the speakers and announces that internet and Wi-Fi is now available, so the passengers were excited. However, after ten minutes, the internet cuts out. The passengers start complaining in a frenzy and are furious over the loss of internet.

How is it that these passengers were able to fly for the majority of an 18-hour flight without internet in peace, but once they were given internet for ten minutes and lose it, they go crazy?? It’s because of expectations not being met. They first had certain expectations at the beginning of the flight, which changed when the announcement was given. So when that new expectation had failed to be met, people were upset.

My expectations of having warm weather to run in held me back from continuing when the cold weather hit. My solution for this is to maintain the right expectations for myself AND to remember why I was pursuing this difficult path in the first place.

This wasn’t the first time I’ve had poor training weeks and this won’t be the last, but at least I learned what needs to be done in order to set myself up for success.

As your competence increases, your confidence increases.

Day 1 (Monday, Feb. 20, 2017): Recovery Run (2 miles) + Chest & Shoulders

After that huge accomplishment last week with the 5K, I was feeling good! So I ran my recovery run at a 10 minute pace which is much faster than my usual easy run.

Day 2: Rest Day (Missed Day — Rest of the week offset by 1)

Day 3: Intervals [5 min WU, 2x(5 min @ TH +1 min recovery jog), 2 min recovery jog, 2x(5 min @ TH + 1 min recovery jog), 5 min CD]

I finished this tough run with a 10:00 pace with 3.72 miles!

Day 4: Easy Run (3 miles)

Finished with a 10:09 pace! The confidence just had me feeling good!

Day 5: 30 Minute Bike + Conquer Ninja

Road trip!! Jay, Lisa and I made our way to Minnesota to participate in the UNAA Qualifiers Ninja Competition. Well…they participated, I played around. From ninja-ing around, I noticed that I had a lot of technique I needed to progress on in terms of swinging and transitioning, which is going to be necessary for me to succeed on the upper body obstacles in races such as the rigs.

Day 6: Easy Run (3 miles) + Biceps & Triceps

Finished with another 10:00 minute pace for 3.07 miles. Wooh! My average pace for the entire week was around the 10:00 minute mark!

Day 7: Long Run (6 miles — Missed)

Noooo! The momentum came to a halt as I missed my last run of the week.

Overall, it was a great week! Because of the excitement from the previous week’s progression assessment, I wanted to challenge and push just a bit harder this week. The journey to OCR World Championship is trucking along!

You will never accomplish your goals if you can’t self-assess.

~Eric Thomas

Day 1 (Monday, Feb. 13, 2017): Rest & PiYo Upper Body

I hadn’t done some core work in a while, so I threw in a PiYo workout to spice it up! PiYo is a combination of pilates and yoga, so it was a perfect low-impact workout for this rest day.

Day 2: Easy Run (3 miles) & PiYo Lower Body

I found a trail! I found a trail! I finally found a trail near my house! I don’t know why it took me so long to find it, but I found a nice trail in my area for me to run on. I finished my 3 miles at a 9:58 pace and supplemented the run with a nice PiYo workout.

Day 3: Long Run (6 miles) & Leg Resistance Circuit

Woah dude! A long run in the middle of the week? Well…sort of. I got bored on the treadmill after the 5k mark (10:46), so I hopped off and took a leg day at the gym. It got cold outside, so I had to run indoors. Of course it gets cold right after I find a trail to run on.

Day 4: 30 Minute Bike

Day 5: Easy Run (3 miles)

A nice easy run at a 10:25 avg pace right before my…

Day 6: 5K Race!

Ohhh, so that’s why you “tried” to do a long run in the middle of the week. It’s time to measure my progress in my run training. Remember, my last 5K was 15 weeks ago with a 9:11 pace as my PR.

The race was held in a nice suburb of Madison, WI and the weather was perfect! The run overall was pretty challenging, because there were SO MANY hills! I finished the race with an average pace of…

8:25!!

Whaaaaaat! I ran the first mile under 8 minutes which is my fastest mile I’ve ever logged and to finish with an 8:25 pace blew my mind! The hard work is paying off especially with that kind of improvement in only 15 weeks!

Day 7: Rest Day

It’s hugely important to continue to measure progress. Not just measure the daily workouts, but also assess the changes based on milestones and PR’s. When you find things that are working, you stick to the process, but when you find that you aren’t getting the results you want, then it’s time to adjust. That’s why it’s imperative for you to track your results in anything you do.

 

It’s great to have a brand new car, but it’s useless without gas in the tank.

Day 1 (Monday, Feb. 6, 2017): Rest Day

After a slight misstep with the previous week’s Sunday workout, today was a “recollect myself” kind of rest day.

Day 2: Intervals [5 min WU, 4x(6 min @TH + 2 Min Recovery Jog), 5 min CD] & Shoulders + Triceps

I ran on an indoor track on this day — I get access to an athletic club on Tuesdays because I’m a volleyball sub (yes I’m totally taking advantage of the free access, even when I don’t play). I finished this hard run at a 10:25 pace with 4.03 miles. Finished it off with some free weight exercises to get me some boulder shoulders.

Day 3: Easy Run (3 miles)

I ran a 10:36 pace and then in the middle of it, I added a half mile 10 degree incline, because I was getting bored on the treadmill. Treadmill’s are the worst, but it’s necessary up here in the frozen tundras of Wisconsin.

Day 4: Rest Day

Day 5: Intervals [5 min WU, 5x(2 min @TH + 1 Min Recovery Jog), 5 min CD]

Second set of intervals this week! Fortunately, it was a very short run. I ran around my neighborhood which is a very hilly area. It also didn’t help that it was ridonkulously windy. I ran 2.44 miles with an average 10:23 pace. The big takeaway for me is that I need to practice running on more hilly areas, especially considering that Blue Mountain — where OCRWC 2017 will be held — is going to have a lot of climbing on the course.

Day 6: 30 Minute Bike

Day 7: Long Run (6 miles) & Adventure Rock Climbing

I went on a fun run in Milwaukee with Lisa and Jay for the 6 miles and finished with a 10:35 pace which is much faster than my usual long run pace. At Adventure Rock, we ran into a bunch of OCR friends including some elite racers, but things took a turn when one of the elite racers fell and injured herself. I always cringe and get woozy when I see injuries, so after seeing that AND the lack of food in my stomach, I ended up fainting…TWICE!

The last time I fainted was when I was giving blood and I had to fast beforehand. It was obviously caused by the lack of fuel that my body needed, especially after a 6 mile run! I was running on fumes and it caught up to me. Lesson of the week is to properly fuel yourself for the activities that you’re partaking in.

Boredom has an important function. because pushing through it can unleash creativity.

~Amy Dickinson

Day 1 (Monday, Jan. 30, 2017): Rest Day

Good ‘ol recovery day after the long run from last week.

Day 2: Easy Run (3 miles) & Volleyball

I ran a quick 3 miles at a 9:50 pace on an indoor track as a warm-up for the volleyball match! I love volleyball and I used to play in a league, but now I just play as a sub. I had to take a step back from volleyball to stay committed to my business and couldn’t commit to giving up evenings during the week. We crushed the other team 3-0! #SWEEP

I love playing other sports to spice up the fitness activities; it’s a great way to keep fitness fun.

Day 3: Strong Run (4 miles) & Back + Triceps

I was instructed to aim for a 10 minute pace, so I started at the 10 minute pace. Then I incremented by .1 mph at 2 miles, then at 3 miles. At 3.3 miles, I kicked it up to 6.5 mph and finished with an average pace of 9:48. I capped off the day with some free weight and machine exercises focusing on back and triceps.

I wanted to run PAST the finish line which is often necessary for quicker growth and results.

Day 4: 30 Minute Bike

Day 5: Rest Day

Day 6: Easy Run (3 miles)

Nothing too eventful here. I ran a 10:12 pace for the 3 miles.

Day 7: Long Run (6 miles) — Missed

Tsk tsk Anousone.

 

Overall this week wasn’t very eventful, but when things start to get a little boring, it’s important to add variety like playing different sports.

There is nothing as sweet as a comeback, when you are down and out, about to lose, and out of time.

~Anne Lamott

Day 1 (Monday, Jan. 23, 2017): Rest Day

Rest days aren’t just necessary to reset the body, but also to reset the mind.

Day 2: Intervals [5 min WU, 1 mile @TH, 2 min recovery jog, 1 miles @TH, 5 min CD] & Biceps/Shoulders

To get back on track, I had to push through a painfully difficult interval. I finished 2.96 miles at a 10:35 pace. I had trouble with what I thought was a cramp, but found out that it was a stitch. It’s pain in the upper right side of the abdomen which is caused by a strain on the diaphragm. I found that it happens to me when I either ate or drank too much before the run.

Day 3: 30 Minute Bike

Day 4: Easy Run (3 miles) & The Challenge

Ran the 3 miles with a 10:20 pace and then capped off the day with the push up & pull up challenge workout. I went for 8 push ups and 20 pull ups this round. Since I was pretty gassed out after the run, I died around the 4th round of exercises, but pushed through nonetheless.

Day 5: Rest & Yoga

This was much needed, because I was super stiff from the previous day!

Day 6: Intervals [5 min WU, 2 miles @ TH, 5 min recovery jog, 2 miles @TH, 5 min CD] & Play @ Abominable Snow Race

Abominable Snow Race was the first OCR of the year in Wisconsin. I didn’t race, but I decided to go with Lisa and my sister to hangout with the amazing OCR community. We got to hangout with Coach Pain and other elite OCR racers. We even went to play on the course (which was probably not allowed). We snow tubed, played on their version of a rig, and climbed the ski hills covered in snow!

I got home late, so I ended up doing the run at night and on a pretty full stomach. I ended up running 5.22 miles at an average of 10:07 pace. I had to walk some of the recovery portions of the interval runs, but overall it was a solid run.

Day 7: Long Run (6 miles) & Adventure Rock

This was the smoothest run of the entire week with a 10:42 pace. And to top it all off with some lovely rock climbing with lovely people!

 

There’s one thing to note about this week which I’ve labeled as a comeback week. I had to work harder and struggle more in the first few runs just to get back on track. By the end of the week, I was back to my normal state. The lesson: it is much easier to stay on track than to fall off and work twice as hard just to get back to where you were.