Welcome to my new website. It's been a while since the days when I updated my blog consistently, and I'm happy to be getting back to it. I called this first post "A Reset.", which can most obviously be said for my website and blog, but it also applies to my recent state of mind, and my training.
First my website, and my state of mind.
If this is the first time you're "meeting" me, or if you haven't followed me from the beginning, please read my athlete and coach pages, those will get you pretty caught up. I realize, as I write this, that it was five years ago (maybe even five years ago to this exact day!?) that I ran my first Spartan Race, and really four years ago that I decided that this was going to my new lifestyle (hobby, addiction, obsession, whatever we'd like to call it). And four years is a long time!
I started this website somewhere in the middle, probably about 3 years ago, and my plan for it was to have a place where I could share my experiences, advice for training, and everything else I've learned during my fitness and OCR journey. I wanted to be a resource for those that need one. I've never claimed to be the best obstacle racing athlete out there, but I definitely feel like I can relate to a lot of people's situations that are starting to get into the sport. I taught myself how to workout in college, with no prior experience going to the gym, or running. I went from smoking almost a pack of cigarettes per day, to competing in Spartan Races and running a marathon. And it definitely wasn't easy! There was so much shit I had to figure out from scratch, and I realized that if I could help you get ahead, even just one step closer towards being a better version of yourself, I was all for it.
Now, after a brief hiatus, I'm back with the same goal. It's a motivator for me. Maybe you've never ran a single OCR, but want to know where to start. Maybe you've completed a Sprint, and Super, and are trying to figure out what to expect from the Killington Beast. Maybe you've got dozens of races under your belt, and are looking for advice about how to tackle a certain obstacle, put together a better running or grip strength training plan, work on your weaknesses, or are motivated by just seeing other people pushing themselves in your social feed. I want to be a resource for those people. I want to help (and meet!) those people. And I hope that going back to blogging will allow me to continue doing that, but in a bigger way.
The timing also happens to coincidentally line up with a reset of my training. I came into this 2017 season undoubtedly in the best shape I've ever been. After filming season two of Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge, I injured myself during Toughest Mudder South, the first race of my season. I rolled my ankle 5 minutes into an 8 hour race, and wound up completing 30 miles, I wrote a full recap on that here. The timing of this reset is based on the fact that my ankle has really just started feeling back to full health.
For everyone out there that's ever been injured, I'm sure you agree with me when I say it SUCKS! It's always tough for me to stay motivated through injury. But now that I"m feeling better, I have a newfound sense of motivation, and I'm planning on keeping it for as long as I can.
My plan for the rest of the season is to get back into running shape, start hitting more miles, and focus on functional strength and grip strength. I am going to US OCR Championships and OCR World Championships, and while I don't have many expectations, more so going for fun and the experience, I want to feel good during those races and definitely keep my bands!
OCR Beast Run with Purpose
For those of you that don't know, I originally started OCR Beast after literally seeing how the training paid off for me, and thinking "why isn't everyone training like this?". It just makes so much sense. Shane Leighton has been my coach since I made that decision last year, and still is today! He programs all of my running each month, and it's tailored to fit my schedule, my fitness level, and goals.
So in order for us to know what each individual athlete's fitness level is, we start off the program with a fitness assessment, and I redid mine today. I ran 2 miles in just under 13 minutes, which is definitely a setback from where I was before Toughest Mudder in April, but still much better than when I started the program last year.
From recording the data of my fitness assessment today, Shane will be able to estimate my max heart rate, and paces for things like a 5k, 10k, half marathon, etc. Now every time I go out for a run, I will have some goal or measurement to guide me. It may be a 40 minute run where I keep my heart rate between 125 and 140, or a 60 minute run with a 3 mile tempo workout in the middle where I have to hit various mile times. The program will build my mileage, and build off my progress as time goes on.
Whether you want one of us as your coaches (we'd love to have you!), or you're figuring out your training plan on your own, you always want to start with evaluating your current fitness before deciding how to improve upon it. I would recommend doing some kind of a run and/or workout that you can get clear results from, and then retest yourself a few months later. If you haven't seen improvement in your retest, your training isn't working, and it's time to make adjustments.
A reset is really only a moment in time. Tomorrow when I head out for my first run from my new program, or in a few days when I publish my next post, it won't be a reset any longer but rather part of the process. I'm looking forward to the process, putting in the work, and coming back to show you my progress. I'm also looking forward to these last few races of the season, and coming back hungry in 2018. If you're going to be at USOCR or OCRWC, shoot me a message! I'd love to meet up.