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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.

It’s time for theย long overdue update on my journey to qualify for OCWRC!! So long in fact that I’ll summarize the highlights by months.

March

The offseason training continued. Nothing out of the ordinary.

April

We started the month off with a road trip to Minnesota after a butt-kicking boot camp in Milwaukee. Yes! Since the weather has warmed up, weekend boot camps are back! In Minnesota, we went to Obstacle Academy to play on the ninja obstacles, and the day after, we went to the Spartan Workout plus another round of ninja training at Conquer Ninja. In April, Jay added some speed training on a track to the schedule. I ended the month in Salt Lake City for a conference, but kept up with the training: an awesome boot camp, runs around the city, and a hike to a great view point of the city.

May

It’s interesting how I’m able to keep up with my training when I travel, but as soon as I came back home, my routine was messed up and I slacked on working out. One thing I learned about myself is that when a deadline is approaching or pressure hits, I move into action. With my first race coming up this month, I started getting back into routine the week of the Warrior Dash in Wisconsin. Let the OCR season begin!

The Warrior Dash date happened to be the same day as my sister’s graduation, so I had extra motivation to run fast to gauge how my training in the offseason went. It was my fastest race time yet for an OCR, and the first time I kept an elevated heart rate throughout an entire race. I had never run competitively prior to this year, so this was definitely a new experience for me. Approaching obstacles with a higher heart rate was challenging, but Warrior Dash’s obstacles were on the beginner side of difficulty, so it wasn’t too bad.

The next race was a spontaneous registration for Midwest Mayhem hosted by Dirt Runner in Illinois. I wasn’t planning on going to this one, but that’s what having a good influence will do for you. Good friends will challenge you to step it up to the next level. This race really revealed my weaknesses to me. It’s a locally run race on a permanent course, so it was filled with heavy carries which I’ve found is my weakness. Being small is no excuse either, since Jay who’s even smaller than me, still crushed the carries. Another weakness that I discovered was my lack of ability to run downhill on technical terrain. The course was filled with steep hills which wrecked my calves. Overall it was a great race, but it was my worst performance yet for a race that was only 5 miles.

June

The month of June opened up with the Spartan Super in Chicago. This was going to be my first attempt at qualifying for OCRWC. Long story short, I died. Whether it was poor hydration or lack of healthy eating the week before, my calves cramped up really badly during the race. Obstacles were easy, including the new twister obstacle, besides the mandatory 30 burpees for missing the spear throw. Safe to say that I did not qualify that day.

The next weekend’s race was Terrain Race in Milwaukee.ย This race was probably the most impactful this season, because we had over 50 people in our group. From people seeking the podium to first-timers including my sister! Another bonus was that I was going to be taking it easy for this race, because I was having some inflammation in my knee, similar to my injury last year. Thankfully this time around, it healed by the following week. You can check out Jay’s review of Terrain Race MKE at the end of the post.

Attempt #2 at OCRWC Qualifications: Spartan Sprint Lambeau – Competitive Wave. The qualifications for OCRWC in Spartan Competitive is top 20 in your age group. With my knee feeling better, I was super pumped to run this next race for a lot of reasons: 1) It’s a stadium race. ย 2) It’s at Lambeau Field and I’ve been a Packer fan my entire life. 3) Stairs are a strength of mine. 4) My first OCR was a stadium race. 5) No mud to slow me down. 6) My younger cousins (ages 5, 8 and 11) are running the Spartan Kids Race.

I ran in the competitive wave with a lot of familiar faces starting in the same heat, so I felt good. We were sent out in waves of 10 to avoid back ups at obstacles. This was one of my first races where I felt comfortable pushing and keeping my heart rate elevated, especially when I kept seeing fellow racers like Jeff Frank from Wisconsin OCR, who started in the wave 1 minute ahead of mine. This let me know that I was keeping a good pace. I finished the race with 0 burpees. Yep! 0 failed obstacles which means I nailed the spear throw! This no doubt helped me get my fastest time ever in an OCR and I finished 8th in my age group.

I DID IT! I DID IT! I finally qualified for OCR World Championships! It felt so good achieving this goal that was set in October of 2016 due to massive FOMO from watching everyone’s live videos during last year’s world championships. Safe to say that I won’t be missing out this time! Definitely wouldn’t have been able to improve so quickly without the help of Jay, Lisa, and everyone else that has pushed me along this journey — whether it’s from bootcamps or during races.

Now with the qualification out of the way, the pressure has been lifted and now it’s time to focus on the next goal: Surviving OCRWC.

 

Terrain Race Review by Coach Jay