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This week I stepped on to the wrong bus — the struggle bus.

Day 1 (Monday, Jan. 16, 2017): Makeup Run (5 miles)

The previous week, I fell off the boat and so this day was supposed to be a swim to return to the shoreline. My body wasn’t happy with me this day, so I wasn’t able to run. I ended up walking 5.2 miles on this makeup day.

Day 2: Intervals [1 mile easy, 2 miles @TH, 1 mile easy]

I ran 4 miles at an average 10:03 pace. Nothing too exciting here.

Day 3: 30 Minute Bike & Leg Resistance Circuit

A quote from my logs: “Now my booty is sore.” I think that says it all.

Day 4: Intervals [5 min WU, 10x(2 min @TH, 1 min recovery jog), 5 min CD] & 10 Minute Yoga w/ Tony Horton

I ended up missing the run due to exhaustion from work — which is why I recommend working out in the morning. This is a prime example of where I failed to listen to my own advice. However I did throw in a 10 minute yoga to at least get a minimum workout in.

Day 5: Rest Day & The Challenge

Initially, I intended to do a makeup run here, but I decided to just do the P90X3 Challenge workout with a target of 8 pull-ups / 19 push-ups for the 16 different exercises. I was having stomach problems the entire day and felt that a run would leave me looking like Mikael Ekvall (just google him if you don’t know who I’m talking about).

Day 6: Easy Run (3 miles)

Aaaaaaand…I missed this workout too.

Day 7: Long Run (6 miles) & Yoga

On my attempt to get back on track, I ran 3 miles and died. I speed walked for 1 miles before calling it. I capped off the week with a much needed yoga session to stretch and exhale all the terribleness from this week.

One of the biggest reasons why I wanted to share my journey is to show the highs and lows. As you can obviously see, this week was one of the lows. We are humans, and we aren’t perfect. We’re not here to be perfect, we’re here to PROGRESS.

Oh boy! I’m running a bit behind on the recaps, so we’ve got a twofer this time!

New Year, Better You.

Day 1 (Monday, Jan. 2, 2017): Rest Day + Total Synergistics

The goal is to restart the P90X3 supplemental training to go along with the runs. I noticed that I could increase the weights for the Total Synergistics workout.

Day 2: Intervals [5 min WU, 4x(6 min @ 10:00 + 3 min @ TH + 2 min recovery jog), 5 min CD] & Agility X

Knocked this run out on a treadmill. I finished with 5.4 miles at an average pace of 10:00. I supplemented it with P90X3 Agility X which reminded me about how much I dislike plyometric workouts. Definitely a burner!

The gym was packed with people as expected for the beginning of the year. Unlike most people, I actually LOVE when the gym is packed with folks for two reasons.

  1. I love seeing people take control of their health (or at least try).
  2. I’m more motivated to push harder and longer, because of my competitive nature of running next to people.

Day 3: 30 Minute Bike

Day 4: Intervals [1 mile easy, 2 miles @TH, 1 mile easy] & X3 Yoga & The Challenge

This was definitely one of the toughest intervals I’ve done because of the longer threshold run, but I got it done with an average 10 minute pace. I also had to double up on the X3 workouts because I missed it the previous day.

Crushed the Challenge with a target of 7 pull ups and 18 push ups for the exercises.

Day 5: Rest Day & CVX

I was feeling a bit lethargic during this workout, but giving 50% effort at a workout is better than not showing up at all.

Day 6: Long Run (6 miles)

Knocked out the run with a 10:42 pace, but I had a hard time finishing because of a cramp above my right hip. Shout out to Les Brown’s motivational speech that I was listening to which helped me push through!

Day 7: Intervals [5 min WU, 8x(2 min @TH, 1 min recovery jog), 5 min CD] & Adventure Rock Climbing

I swapped day 6 and 7 because I was able to run on an indoor track which would be more fitting for this interval workout. Ran 3.65 at an average 9:47 pace and then capped it off with a session at Adventure Rock!

There’s a climbing route that I’ve been working on that I’ve been struggling to finish. Although I still haven’t completed it, I got one step further! All about the progression instead of perfection!


Week 10 Day 1 (Monday, Jan. 9, 2017): Rest Day

Sleep is bae.

Day 2: Intervals [1 mile easy, 1 mile @ TH, 1 mile easy, 1 mile @TH, 1 mile easy] & X3 Dynamix

I did X3 Dynamix before the run which was a great warm up and stretch. Knocked out a 5 mile run with a 10:10 pace. I watched Obama’s farewell speech during the run so I didn’t die of treadmill boredom.

Day 3: Easy Run (4 miles) & X3 The Warrior

I was running a 10:21 pace but had a right side cramp so I had to walk for a minute at the halfway point. Then finished with a 10 min pace for an average pace of 10:46. I added X3 Warrior to supplement the run where I was completely spent by the end of the workout.

Day 4: Long Run (6 miles) & X3 Eccentric Upper

First mile was awful. Then I put on the right music — more like Eric Thomas yelling at me in his motivational mixtape, and then the last 5 miles were smooth as butter.

Eccentric Upper is definitely a favorite in the X3 program. Love the pump!

Day 5: 30 Minute Bike

Day 6: Rest Day & Yoga w/ Tony Horton

Tony Horton will give you abs from laughing so much. He’s hilarious.

Day 7: First Ascent Climbing

Although I had a fun climbing day, I missed the run for the day. Tsk tsk!

 

It’s the beginning of the year and two types of people emerge: people that are attempting to change their lives with New Year’s resolutions/goals and people that bash them. Let’s be the different and support those that are trying to make a better life for themselves while we improve our own!

Can you believe that it’s already been 8 weeks?! And it was the week after the Christmas weekend!! Time to get back on track.

Day 1 (Monday, Dec. 26, 2016): Long Run (6 miles)

This was a make-up day since I skipped my workout on Christmas day. Because of all of the Christmas food and cookies, I was struggling a little bit on this run. It’s a good reminder of how important it is to have good nutrition. Good nutrition means better performance!

Day 2: Easy Run (3 miles)

I’m back at home in my wonderful condo at this point and that means I’m back to my normal routine! Thank goodness. It’s crazy how difficult it is to be consistent when you are broken out of your daily routine. That’s why it’s so important to establish good habits and routines.

The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.

~Mike Murdock

Day 3: 30 Minute Bike

I haven’t been doing a good job at my supplemental workouts, but I’m glad that I’ve at least been consistent with my running regimen.

Day 4: Easy Run (3 miles)

I did a morning run for the first time in a long time. Morning workouts were a big deal for me during my weight loss journey, because it would encourage me to eat healthy since I would not want to ruin the momentum from my workout. Morning workouts also relieve the stress and clear space in my mind for other priorities. Most people stress out about their workouts all day long, because they keep thinking about the pain and struggle of having to do it in the evening. And a lot of times, they end up not even working out because of being exhausted from work.

Day 5: Rest Day

This was the only rest day of the week!

Day 6: Easy Run (3 miles)

I didn’t mind the lack of rest days, and I really enjoyed this being a week full of easy runs, because the holiday weekend threw me off of routine. This was a great way to ease back into having a normal schedule.

For this run, I joined Lisa and Gary on a snow-covered trail run. This was tough! I’ve never run in the snow before, but I was glad I had a pair of Salomon Speedcross 3’s which had great traction in the snow. I ran 3.18 miles at a 11:36 pace, but it was more like a 10:40 pace, because I forgot to pause my running watch each time we stopped to play with awesome doggies or look at a map.

Day 7: Long Run (6 miles)

I capped off this 21+ mile week with a solid long run. However, I think I would’ve felt better had I eaten a little bit before doing this run. My stomach was so talkative!

Month 2 Total Mileage: 67.48

 

Some key takeaways from this week:

  • Nutrition is key to better performance
  • Daily routines and habits make it easy to stick to your goals
  • Morning workouts relieve the stress of thinking about your workouts all day
  • A good way to get back on track is to ease yourself back into your routines

Circumstances do not make the man, they reveal him.

~James Allen

Day 1 (Monday, Dec. 19, 2016): Long Run (6 miles) + Abs

Uh oh! This is a big holiday week, so it was critical for me to get these workouts in before the festivities begin! Knocked out this long run with a solid 10:42 pace which gave me a great start to the week!

Day 2: Easy Run (3 miles)

I arrived at my parents’ home in Milwaukee where they’ve got a treadmill in the basement. The downside is that this treadmill is on a ridiculous natural incline of at least 5 degrees. This easy run was NOT so easy, but I got it done. Bring on the Christmas cookies!

Day 3: Intervals [1 mile easy pace, 3 miles @ TH, 1 mile easy pace]

Did you know that the largest determining factor of the number of people that will show up to your funeral is…the WEATHER?! It’s crazy how people let little things like the weather keep them from living out their lives.

In the frozen tundras of Wisconsin, we get less than desireable running weather, so we often have to take it indoors. Most people find treadmills to suck, including coach Jay, so we decided to take our workout to the Pettit Center in Milwaukee, which is an indoor olympic ice center with a running track.

Since I don’t often get to run on an indoor track, we decided to take advantage of it and run a tough interval workout which would also serve as a measurement of how I’m progressing. With that being said, I ran a new PR! After running a 1 mile warm-up, I ran a 5k distance with a time of 28:13 which is 15 seconds faster than my previous 5k time. And that’s with a 1 mile warm-up beforehand! BOOMSAUCE!

Day 4: 30 minute bike

Much needed recovery after a hard run!

Day 5: Intervals [5 min WU, 6x(3 min @ TH + 2 min recovery jog), 5 min CD] + Adventure Rock

Eating mom’s leftover green bean casserole which may or may not have spoiled is a baddd idea. I had major stomach problems / food poisoning last night, but I committed to showing up to this workout at the Pettit with Lisa, Jay, and Erik (another OCR racer). I ended up having to stop halfway to answer to my stomach’s call. I ran 2.55 for a total of 27:56, but at least I felt much better by the time we go to do some Adventure Rock climbing!

Day 6 & 7: Rest Day

Christmas. Cookies. #oops.

 

This week was full of ups and downs, but the best part was being able to train with absolutely amazing people during the holiday week!

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

~Jim Rohn

Day 1 (Monday, Dec. 12, 2016): Long Run (7 miles)

Boomshakalaka! This was my longest run in the last 6 weeks! Since I had to run this beast of 7 miles on a treadmill, I was dreading the idea of being on there for an hour and a half, so I ran at an 11:06 pace and crushed it! I guess the accidental double rest day last week paid off.

Day 2: Intervals [5 min WU, 3x(7 min @ 10:00 + 3 min @ 9:30 + 3 min recovery jog), 5 min CD] + Triceps & Back

You’d think my legs would be jello after that long run, but this was another awesome run! I ended up running this interval at an overall pace of 10:04. I topped off the day with a fun set of resistance rowing exercises to work the triceps and back muscles.

Day 3: 30 Minute Bike + Full Body Resistance

This was a nice day of recovery after hammering my legs.

Day 4: Intervals [1 mile easy pace, 2x(10 min TH + 5 min recovery jog), 1 mile easy pace] + Boulder’s Climbing Gym

One of the coolest things about OCR is the community aspect. The sport is able to bring people together that normally wouldn’t have met each other otherwise. After rockin’ the assigned interval workout, I got to go climbing with some new friends that connected through our Facebook groups. By the way, if you’re interested in joining our Milwaukee/Madison, Wisconsin-based OCR FB group, click here!

Day 5: Rest Day

Sleep is bae. Nuff said.

Day 6: 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] + Obstacle Academy

It is absolutely great to have people to workout with and have fun, but it’s a whole different experience when you train with people that are ten times better than you. If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know how much significance I place on the importance of your circle of influence. You become who you hangout with. It’s cool to workout with people that are at your level, but you won’t grow as fast as you would if you worked out with people that are playing at a different level.

I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to surround myself with ELITE OCR racers. This weekend we made the trip to Minnesota to go play at the different ninja gyms in Minneapolis. First of all, if Minneapolis can have 4 to 6 ninja gyms in one city, why the heck isn’t there a single one in the state of Wisconsin?!

I got to play on warped walls, rings, rigs, and all kinds of other ninja toys, but the best part was just being surrounded by amazing people that encourage and teach me how to become a better OCR athlete.

Day 7: Rest Day

This was supposed to be a second day of ninja fun, but we ran into some complications with the venue. It was still an overall blast of a weekend!

This was another solid 20 mile week in the books which is a significant number compared to what I used to do. If I want to get anywhere near these elite athletes, I’ll have to start getting closer to the 35-40 mile weeks. But right now it’s not about me versus them. It’s about ME VERSUS ME It’s about being better than I was yesterday and continuing to improve day in and day out!

 

Success is not about always staying on track, but has everything to do with how quickly you get back on track once you fall off.

After an awesome week 4, this week was kind of derpy, so let’s get straight into the recap.

Day 1 (Monday, Dec. 5, 2016): Rest Day

Very necessary rest after an intense 20 mile week for the first time in my life!

Day 2: Easy Run (3 miles) + Legs

This week was focused on recovery and allowing my body to adjust to the beating that it’s going through, so all the runs were easy runs this week. I supplemented the run with a casual set of leg-focused exercises at the gym.

Day 3: 30 Minute Bike + Biceps & Shoulders

Accidentally did 45 minutes — there I go again with following directions to a T.

Day 4: Easy Run (3 miles) + X3 The Challenge

I’ve started to find that the first half of my runs have been pretty challenging to get into rhythm. Everything kind of aches and my mind just does not want to do it, but once I’m past the halfway mark, I just get in the zone — or more like zone out — and time flies.

I’m starting to see progress in my pull-up strength which is going to be super useful for rigs. I bumped the target numbers for the X3 Challenge workouts to 6 unassisted pull-ups and 16 push-ups. There’s 8 different exercises for both pull-ups and push-ups, so I did a total of 48 pull-ups and 128 push-ups in a short amount of time. I’ll definitely bump up the numbers for the next Challenge.

Day 5: Easy Run (3 miles) + X3 Yoga

This was my first run since this whole journey where I had zero problems with any part of my body during the run! I ran this one at a 10 minute pace which is a bit faster than most of my easy runs that I’ve done. Capped off the amazing day with a good yoga session!

Day 6: Rock Climbing + Hula Hooping?!

This was a rest day, but since Coach Jay was in town, we went to go play at Boulder’s Climbing Gym in Madison with Lisa and Logan. We found an awesome backroom filled with all kinds of toys like kettlebells, hangboards, balance boards, mini rig, rings, and hula hoops! Since we are in Wisconsin, we’ve been getting hit with a ton of snow, so what better way to enjoy the snow than spending 3 to 4 hours at a climbing gym!

On this day, I had another AHA moment. It was the same feeling I got when I ran my first Spartan Race. After running my first OCR, I realized that I could do so much more than what my mind initially thought. I had self-limiting beliefs about my physical abilities, but after finish the race, I had an epiphany that I am capable of so much more! So on this day at the climbing gym, I realized that I could hula hoop!!! I had doubts that I could do such a thing based on my previous experiences with hula hooping, but as time changed, I changed. Also, who knew that hula hooping was a great core exercise!

Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.

~Nido Qubein

Day 7: Rest Day (Oops) + Spear Practice

This day was supposed to be my longest run of 7 miles, but things did not go as planned. Lisa, Jay and I were planning to run at Blue Mounds State Park in 6+ inches of snow. Crazy?! Yes! This is what happens when you hang out with elite OCR racers that are absolutely nuts. However, we got stuck with car problems and the sun going down was also an issue, so we ended up spending the rest of the day making spears and practicing spear throws! The spear throw obstacle is one of the iconic Spartan Race obstacles that have been known to cause pro racers a headache and exhaustion.  The 30 burpee penalty es no bueno!

[easy-tweet tweet=”When you participate in purposeful suffering, your happiness level increases. ~Joe De Sena” via=”no”]

This week ended up being the lowest mileage weeks because of missing the 7-mile long run, but we all fall off track. Often we have to adapt to current circumstances and adjust to make the best of each situation in order to get back on track to our goals. Week 6 will be a huge butt-kicker of a week with a ton of miles, but I’m pumped to take on that challenge!

Fall in love with the process.

~Eric Thomas

Wooh! We’ve passed the 21 day mark by finishing week 3 which is a huge step towards establishing a habit. Some people believe it takes 21 days. Others believe that it’s 30 days, 60 days, or 90 days. I’m not 100% how many days it takes to solidify a habit, but I do know that all of those are huge milestones. Here’s a recap of day 22 to 28.

Day 1 (Monday, Nov. 28, 2016): Long Run (6 miles)

If you remember from Week 3, my legs were out of commission from the football game, and I figured I’d be good to go two days later. Nope. It was awful. I was only able to run 2 miles before I switched to power hiking the treadmill on an 11 degree incline for another mile.

Day 2: 45 Minute Bike + Back & Tricep Weight Lifting

My legs were feeling a little bit better at this point, but still very sore, so I’m glad it was a pretty chill day with the stationary bike (9.3 miles). Topped it off with some quick weight lifting in the gym. Even four days later, everyone from the football game was still talking about how sore we all were!

Day 3: Intervals [5 min WU, 3x(7 min @ 10:00 + 3 min @ 9:30 + 3 min recovery jog), 5 min CD]

Hallelujah! My legs work again! Just in time too. I landed in Las Vegas for a conference, so I was VERY excited to run outside in temperatures greater than 40 degrees! This was a pretty crazy intervals run, but running on the Vegas Strip made it go smoothly and a ton of fun! Running outside is definitely way more interesting than the treadmill. I ran 5.19 miles at a 9:51 pace! I think the reason I ran harder was because I was running near so many people! Knowing that they might be watching made me push forward, just like how public accountability can push us to do what we don’t feel like doing.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Public accountability can push us to do what we don’t feel like doing.” user=”AnousoneBounket”]

Day 4: X3 Yoga

This was much needed after a solid hard run. Although it was a rest day for my legs, I probably walked at least 3 miles taking in the sights in Vegas!

Day 5: Easy Run (3 miles)

You would think that Las Vegas would still be in the 50s or 60s, but this day was in the mid 40s. I didn’t escape Wisconsin just to run in this weather! Today was the first full day of the conference which would be a full 12 hours straight, so I ran in the morning. I wouldn’t have time to supplement the runs this weekend due to the conference, but on this day, I did a different kind of plyometric workout!

I had the privilege of seeing Tony Robbins speak! It was an unreal experience! The majority of his talk was focused on having and maintaining high energy so this meant we were on our feet for about 70% of the time. He had us jumping, screaming, dancing, hugging, chest bumping, and completely just go bananas! I think I jumped and danced around more in the 3 to 4 hours with Tony Robbins than I ever did at a concert!

If you plan on attending a Tony Robbins event, bring tennis shoes.

Day 6: Easy Run (3 miles)

I’ve realized that my pacing when running outside is much faster compared to running on a treadmill. I ran a 10:15 in Day 5 and a 10:23 on this day. Although my legs were a little tired from Tony Robbins the previous night, it was still a solid run.

Day 7: Long Run (5 miles)

On my last day in Vegas, I ended the trip with a long run that ended a bit further than 5 miles because I knew that my total mileage for the week was super close to breaking the 20 mile mark! During the run, all I could think about was hitting this milestone, so I “ran through the finish line” on this last day of the week. My 4-week mileage ended at 62.08 miles! This was so crazy! That’s more than I’ve run in my entire life!

 

These first four weeks have really set the pace for my training to qualify for OCRWC. A lot of people go on challenges and don’t even make it past week 2, so to be able to make it to week 4 is a huge accomplishment that I’m super pumped about.

However, there’s one thing that a lot of people feel during a challenge to improve. It’s the desire to see significant progress! Some people start a weight loss challenge and expect to lose 20 to 30 lbs in a few weeks. Some people start a new business and expect to be rich by the first month. I’ve been running for 4 weeks now! Shouldn’t I be able to run a 4 minute mile?! Of course not.

Too often we set these crazy high expectations for ourselves, and when we don’t see the results we desire, most of us quit. Even during these runs, I sometimes wish I was at least running under a 9 minute pace. But I understand the power of the compound effect. Although I may not see any progress now, it’s all about the daily decisions and actions every single day over time that will compound into huge results in the future.

So instead of focusing on the scoreboard, we must focus on the things we can track. We must focus on the daily activity. We must focus on the small wins. We must trust the process.

Oops.

~Anousone Bounket

Oops?! Anousone…what’d you do?

Day 1 (Monday, Nov. 21, 2016): Yoga Muscle Recovery

I remember doing this workout late at night, and I almost didn’t even do anything since it was a rest day. This is where the power of having accountability partners kicks in. I saw Coach Jay log his workout and so I decided to do the same workout too!

Day 2: Easy Run (3 miles) + X3 CVX

Not much worth noting, except that running on a treadmill gets boring pretty quick! Can we just skip winter?

Day 3: Intervals [5 min WU, 2x(15 min @TH + 5 Min Recovery Jog), 5 min CD] + Light Weight Lifting

Tough run, but went a lot better than I thought it was going to be. I’m noticing that I always struggle in the first half of the runs, and then find my groove for the second half.

Day 4: 30 Minute Bike + X3 The Challenge

I’ve found that listening to personal development podcasts like Eric Thomas’ Secret to Success podcast helps makes things go a lot faster. The mind is a muscle that also needs to be trained! Also super glad that I got this workout in for the morning of Thanksgiving!

Day 5: Eat + Shopping

I worked my jaw muscles as I ate some more amazing food for Thanksgiving part 2 and stood in checkout lines for Black Friday!

Day 6: Intervals [5 min WU, 6x(3 min @TH + 1 Min Recovery Jog), 5 min CD] + Turkey Bowl Football Game

Every year, we have a Thanksgiving weekend football game with our old high school friends and others. For most of us, it’s the only time we see each other for the year, so it’s a nice reunion. I knew from last year’s game that I needed to have cleats or at least shoes with solid grip on wet grass. Fortunately I had cleats AND a pair of OCR shoes (Solomon Speedcross 3’s), and I elected for the Solomon’s! I busted my butt last year slipping and sliding, but this year was a completely different story! Sprinting and juking was a lot easier, but that also meant that I put in more effort without fear of slipping and falling.

We played 2.5 hours of football which was a ton of fun! However it was pretty much 2.5 hours of sprints with a lot of breaks. With that being said, I pushed my legs to the extreme, and I didn’t even notice it because I was having so much fun. The worst part is that I forgot to stretch after the game! Big oops! Actually, we all forgot to stretch after the game. I think we all felt like we were back in high school where we barely had to stretch cause our bodies could take it, but we’re all older and most of us aren’t as active anymore.

My intervals workout that night was almost non-existent. I had such a hard time running that after a mile or so, I had to transition to walking.

Day 7: Rest Day

Originally, this was supposed to be my long run day, but because my legs were barely working, I postponed the long run to the next day. Just about everyone that played that day was talking about how they could barely use their legs!

 

This is a clear example of the importance of stretching before and after exercise and why you shouldn’t overwork your body. Over exercising can cause more harm than good, because it can take you out of commission!

Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.

~Warren Buffett

I might not feel the chains of habit yet, but I sure as heck am feeling something! Hint: It’s a four letter word that starts with ‘S’ and rhymes with “more.”

Day 1 (Monday, Nov. 14, 2016): Rest Day + BeachBody Yoga Retreat: Stretch

After doing a lot more than my body was used to in week 1, I treated myself with a nice visit to the massage therapist. I got a nice overdue deep tissue massage for this rest day and then did a much needed yoga workout.

Day 2: Intervals + X3 The Warrior + Volleyball Match

Oh boy, I think I went a little too H.A.M. for day 2. Roughly three and half hours of high impact physical activity! Since I had to go into the office for the next four days, I wasn’t able to get in my workouts in the middle of the day. And I hadn’t trained my body back into working out in the morning recently, so for the rest of this week, I worked out in the late evening. This led me to have higher levels of cortisol at night which means I get to bed even later. That leads to me waking up even later in the morning. You can see where this cycle goes and I’ll get into how this affects things later in the week.

P90X3 The Warrior is a full body exercise using only gravity and body weight. I did this workout first and then rushed to the gym to sub for my coworkers’ volleyball match. They’re in the second most difficult league division, so it was far from a casual game of volleyball. As soon as the game ended around 10pm, I ran my first intervals workout!

Fortunately, there was an indoor track at the gym we played volleyball. Unfortunately, it blocked my GPS signal for my watch, so I had to track my distance manually — every 9.5 laps = 1 mile. The intervals workout was a 5 minute warm-up, 4 x (6 minute run at my threshold pace + 2 minute recovery jog), ending with a 5 minute cool-down.

Being the great follower of instructions that I am, I did 5 minute TH runs instead of 6 minutes. #oops. I finished with 3.6 miles at an average pace of 10:33. I had to do a lot of math and guesstimating, especially since I lost count of how many laps I did at one point! This was definitely a challenging workout for me!

Day 3: 30 Minute Bike + X3 The Challenge

Yay for low impact training after an intense day 2! I hit up the stationary bike for 6.67 miles and did X3 The Challenge (all push ups and pull ups) to let my knees continue to recover from the day before. I was able to increase my push up and pull up count by about 30%!

Day 4: Intervals [5 min WU, 5x(2 min @TH + 1 Min Recovery Jog), 5 min CD] + Total Synergistics

To prove that I can follow instructions, I did this workout correctly this time! I ran this one on a treadmill so I can get a better gauge on how to pace correctly for this workout. Finished this one with an average of a 10:22 pace for 2.55 miles. Topped it off with a nice sweaty X3 Total Synergistics workout.

Day 5: Easy Run (3 miles) + Hills (8x) + Adventure Rock

This was the last day I had to be in the office, so I took my workouts to Milwaukee to run with Justin Laabs and Coach Jay! It was super windy along the lakefront so Justin and I ran the first mile with the wind at a 9:34 pace and the last 2 miles at an 11:00 minute pace against the wind. Jay ran laps around us at his own pace. Then we knocked out those hills together and headed to Adventure Rock to rock climb until closing time!

I ended up finally getting home at 1 am and was supposed to wake up to leave to Indianapolis at 3 am for business. Up to this point, I had four days of an unusual routine with having to go into the office, working out in late evenings, and getting to bed pretty late. So before I went to bed, I knew that this might be a bad idea for my body and could be dangerous since it was starting to rain that night at around freezing temps. I woke up to my 3 am alarm clock, and my body was not having it.

As an entrepreneur, we often have to sacrifice and do things other people won’t, so that we can have and do what other people only dream. Some entrepreneurs will sacrifice time, money, relationships, and even their health. Successful people have at least three major core values or priorities that they live by and vary in order for different people. My top three priorities in order are my health, financial freedom/lifestyle, and impact/influence/legacy. So with that being said, I took my butt back to sleep that morning.

I can’t build a successful business that promotes a healthy lifestyle if I’m not even taking care of my own health.

Day 6: Rest Day

A very necessary rest day was needed after the last crazy few days. Too often people overlook the power of a rest day especially with today’s current mentality of “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” or “sleep is for the weak.” I don’t know why people don’t get pumped at the advice of “get more sleep.” You don’t have to tell me twice to get some rest!

[easy-tweet tweet=”Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together. ~Thomas Dekker”]

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

I capped week 2 off with a solid 6 mile run at my suggested 11:45 pace with little problem and then hit up Adventure Rock for another climbing session to continue working on grip and upper body strength! I almost PR’d on a 5.10- rock climbing route so I was pumped about that! Progress over perfection!

 

Week 2 in the books! This week helped me gain even more clarity on my core values and priorities with the challenges it threw at me. Some major lessons learned: 1) I’ll never work a full-time job being trapped for 8 hours in an office again. I have no idea how I did it for a full year after college and how so many people do it for 40+ years; 2) Sleep is bae.

The first week of any fitness challenge or journey is one of the most important weeks, because it sets the tone for the entire adventure. It’s the most challenging week physically, but it’s the easiest week mentally. It’s when new habits start forming, bad habits start getting weeded out, and baselines get established. It’s the easiest week mentally, because that’s when you’ve got the most excitement, and you haven’t been burnt out or worn down by the difficulties of the challenge yet.

Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.

~Jim Ryun

This first week for me pushed far out of my comfort zone for running. Because 1) I hate running (for now), and 2) I’m not a great runner (for now). My workouts that we’ve got set up for me consist of P90X3 and a mixture of different runs: intervals, long runs, and hill repeats. I had never done any kind of training for running before so this was all new to me!

Based on my current running experience (almost none), Jay set me up with some running paces.

  • Easy Run (can hold a conversation and run): 11:00
  • Threshold (TH): 9:35
  • Long Run: 11:45

So here’s what I did for Week 1 of my 48 weeks until OCR World Championships!  (starting on Monday, November 7, 2016)

Day 1: Rest Day + X3 Total Synergistics

Rest day?! One of my favorites! I’m an expert at napping, so that was a fun start to my training! The last few months, I’ve really fallen behind in my workout routines. I went from six workouts a week to two a week. From a mix of vacationing in Cancún to business all over the U.S., I’ve been a bit out of balance. So this delay in training was nice for me to just get back into the flow of having a workout routine, because although I didn’t have to run, I still had to workout!

Total Synergistics is a full body workout using both body weight and free weights. It’s a combination of strength, core and balance training. It’s one of my favorites from the P90X3 program.

Day 2: Easy Run (2 miles) + X3 Agility X

My first scheduled running workout is an easy run for 2 miles! I did the run on a treadmill with a 2 degree incline to make up for not running outside. I think it’s time for me to move down south because it’s getting cold up here in Wisconsin!

Agility X, one of my least favorites because I’m just not a fan of doing agility/cardio exercises by myself. Definitely way more fun with other people. However, Tony Horton does crack me up, so that helps. And laughing adds an ab or two right?

Day 3: Easy Run (4 miles) + Hills (8x) + X3 Yoga

Ran at a nice park called Elver Park in Madison, WI. The hill there is also where the Wisconsin Men’s Basketball Team likes to go train, so I thought that if it was good enough for them that it was good enough for me. Unfortunately, it’s that time of year where the sun sets way too early so after I ran my first two miles, I saw that it was getting dark. So I headed for the hill which was enormous! I was only able to run up the full hill once. For the rest of the hill runs, I was only able to run up half way and walk the rest of the way up. By the time I was done with the hills, it was too dark to even see my feet, so I didn’t run the last two miles.  Logged those 2 miles at a 10:16 pace.

X3 Yoga is the bee’s knees! It’s great for stretching out those tight muscles while also training your core and balance.

Day 4: Easy Run (2.5 miles) + X3 The Challenge

I ran 3 miles on a 1 degree inclined treadmill at a 10:31 pace. Notice that I’m not great at following instructions…

The Challenge is a workout that is filled with different variations of pull ups and push ups. This is going to be a key workout for the obstacles in the races.

Day 5: Rest Day + X3 CVX

Rest? You don’t have to tell me twice. I’ve never in my life run this many days consecutively, so this was a nice breather for me.

CVX is cardio with weights. Add this to my list of workouts that kick my butt.

[easy-tweet tweet=”When it comes to working out, I’d rather get my butt kicked than to always kick butt.”]

Day 6: 5k Race + Ninja Gym!!

I had never run a “normal” 5k race before, so this was all new to me! I was invited by Lisa Nondorf to come run this 5k/10k race for Lung Cancer Awareness in Chicago. There I met some awesome fellow OCR racers and had an awesome time at the race, even though it was a little chilly. I finished the race with a 28:28 time w/ a 9:11 pace, so Jay’s predictions about my training paces were spot on!

The race overall was pretty flat, and I spent most of the time trying to dodge the ten year olds that were zipping by me. How do they have so much energy?! Halfway through the race, I started wishing that I didn’t put on so many layers, but at least I was pleasantly distracted by the elk that we ran by. Yes, elk (we ran in a forest preserve for elk). I ended up placing 2nd in my age group (Men’s 21-40). Sure there wasn’t a huge competitive turn out for my age group, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to take this W for my first 5K!

If you can’t enjoy the small wins in life, not only will you not be able to enjoy the big success, you’ll never even reach it.

After the race, we grabbed a hearty brunch and headed to the Chicago Ninja Academy. I’ve been meaning to go to this ninja gym for a while, so I was super pumped to finally go, and I was blown away! It was essentially a playground for adults! From different kinds of swinging grips to balance beams, ninja steps to warped walls, climbing ropes to a spider wall, it had everything! The best form of working out is play!

There I finally figured out how to lache, which is a full launch from one monkey bar to the other with both hands releasing simultaneously. That’ll definitely come in handy for the obstacle rigs with larger gaps, especially since I don’t have a large wingspan. Day 6 was an amazing training day; I wouldn’t even call it training. It was a play day with awesome OCR friends.

Day 7: Long Run (5 miles)

Following the trend of not doing what I’m told, I ran 6.1 miles instead. It’s hard to tell entrepreneurs what to do, that’s why we don’t like having bosses. Although to be successful in life, we still have to be coachable and have mentors, so we do listen…sometimes. Fortunately, Coach Jay is also an entrepreneur so he completely understands! I did however run this at an 11:45 pace like I was supposed to. I’ve never run 6 miles nonstop in my life so this in itself is a personal accomplishment!

 

The first week of OCRWC training is in the books! I had never run this many miles in one week either! The most I had probably run prior was 7 miles, and that’s because I ran a 6 mile OCR! In week 1, I logged a total of 16.1 miles! Holy crap!

Like I said before however, the first week of any challenge is the easiest, because it’s when we’re most excited. I’m so glad you’re joining me on this crazy journey, and I’m super excited to see what the next 47 weeks has in store for me!