Don't blink. Just run.

Where training meets fandom. And everything in between.

Face The Music Friday #49

 

Saturday – 1.5 mile ruck + mowed lawn w/ ruck on

Sunday – 10 miles

Monday – Rest/Chiro

Tuesday – 3 miles

Wednesday – Rest

Thursday – 3 mile ruck

Friday – Rest

 

Decent week. I’m not overly psyched about it, but I put in some miles. My knee was really bothering me after the 10 miles on Sunday, so I brought it up at my chiro appointment on Monday night. I was concerned it was something other than muscle strain so she took a look and made me feel better by saying it was just my hamstring, no meniscus tears or anything like that. She then performed a little torture on me known as the Graston technique. Typically she just does ART with me, as well as adjustments, because she had told me before how painful Graston was and that the ART seemed to be doing fine. Well, she was right! It still hurts today from that! I should have run last night, but I decided since it still didn’t feel great and I have a 7 miler coming up this weekend that I’d just do a ruck/walk with Tara instead.

 

 

You mean you don’t go for a walk with a rucksack full of bricks and a head lamp?

 

 

So this week has been interesting. And shitty. And I’m glad it’s a long weekend.

First, and not a super big deal, but I missed my first blogiversary. Apparently my first post was 8/16/13. I knew it was in August and it was coming up, but for some reason I thought I started blogging later than that.

My iPhone battery hasn’t been holding a charge well in weeks. I had made an appointment for Sunday morning to go get it checked. When my schedule was going to have me running my 10 miles super early, I decided to change it to Wednesday night after work. Then on Tuesday, I found out that there was a recall on the batteries in both of our phones so we were entitled to free replacement batteries. We made an appointment for Tara right after mine and headed up there and were promptly told it would be an hour per phone. Booo. So, we decided we’d have a sit down meal at a restaurant in the mall and kill some time window shopping.

Apparently it was really easy to kill 2 hours because we headed back around 8:30 and they were already done (a little early). We headed home and were just about there when I got pulled over by a cop. My first instinct was I was pissed because I hadn’t been home all day and really had to pee. I knew for a fact I wasn’t speeding because I had literally just looked at a 35mph speed limit sign and I was doing exactly that. He pulled me over and shined his big ass spotlight right into my mirror so I couldn’t see anything, came up and asked for my license, registration and proof of insurance. I gave him all of the above, which I’d already gotten out. He then asked Tara (my passenger!!!) for her license. Then I got really pissed. I asked him why he pulled me over and he said my driver side headlight was out.

Now, to me it looked like I had two beams of light so I was pissed. He took forever checking shit out, came back, told us it was probably the bulb (DUH!!) and to get it replaced. As soon as we got home I got out of the car to look at it and it wasn’t even completely out! It was only dimmed, on it’s way to burning out! I was even more pissed about this because clearly he was just bored and itching to bother somebody. It still really pisses me off, especially about taking Tara’s license. What if she didn’t bring her purse? Or didn’t have a license? Was he going to cite me for having a passenger with no ID???

Add into this week that it’s end of month so work has been kind of nutty and our fax machines aren’t working so that makes it even worse because the orders aren’t coming in properly, which brings calls from pissed off customers. Good times. And they keep overbooking the amount of people out on vacation in our department so that’s annoying having to cover lots of extra stuff at the busiest time of the month.

Let’s end with a few positives. We’re having an ice cream sundae party in our department today. A friend of mine from the gym is going to install my headlights for me, saving me from paying $15 PER headlight to install them. And it’s a long weekend that I imagine will be full of fun. I know we have at least 1 hike planned with friends so far. And maybe, just maybe, I can convince Tara to go see Guardians of the Galaxy with me. Maybe.

I’ve been listening to a lot of 90s music on Spotify at work and this little gem came on the other day. I had a big thing for Third Eye Blind back in the day. Enjoy and have a great weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Doctor Who Is Back!

 

SPOILERS– DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN’T YET WATCHED “DEEP BREATH”!!!

Last Saturday premiered to us the 12th Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi. One could argue he’s the 13th, after meeting the War Doctor in the 50th Anniversary special, but we’re not here to quibble over that. That just confuses me anyway.

I’m not going to recap the entire episode, because that’s not really what I feel like doing, nor do I remember all the minute details. I just wanted to touch on how GLAD I am to have DW back again and how eager I am to see where it goes.

Before the show even started, I was a bundle of nerves. I go through this every time a Doctor regenerates. You get so attached to one Doctor and then they’re just gone and replaced with this stranger. I don’t know about you, but each time I say, “but number (whatever) was my favorite!”. Then you watch a bit and you fall in love all over again. I thought I could never like David Tennant after Christopher Eccleston, but I did. I thought I could never like Matt Smith after David, but I did. I hope the same follows for Peter Capaldi.

Right away, we’re tossed into the newness of the show. They revamped the look of the intro as well as the song. Not a drastic change, but noticeable enough. And speaking of revamps, the TARDIS was also re-done a bit. I enjoyed the familiar faces of Madame Vastra, Jenny and Strax at the beginning to kind of shepherd us in. The dinosaur in the Thames was new, but our setting of Victorian London was not.

 

 

The Doctor and Clara joined us after being spit out by the dinosaur and it was a hot mess for a few minutes. He seemed to have trouble processing people and memories and he talked so fast it was a bit confusing to follow, but funny nonetheless. When he meets up with the homeless man in the alley later, it’s the funniest part of the show as he “discovers” himself. The eyebrows! He’s Scottish!

 

 

Clara, on the other hand, was a bit taken aback by this “new” Doctor. Now, Clara has never been one of my top favorite companions, but I have to say that she held her own in this episode. As a lot of people have mentioned online, and I agree, the companion is sort of the voice of the audience. We were all wondering, right along with her, what this new “madman with a box” would be like. Clara certainly stood up for herself a lot and I respected that about her in this episode. It was also heart-wrenching watching her talk to “her” Doctor, Matt Smith, in his cameo at the end of the episode.

 

 

The thing I liked about this episode was the return of the Clockwork Robots from The Girl In The Fireplace. This time, they were luring humans into a restaurant to steal their parts/skin. And who the hell left the message in the newspaper for Clara and the Doctor?? That scene in the restaurant was completely creepy when they realize all the “people” in there are actually the robots. So scary! Can you say skin balloon? Ewww. And let’s not even get into whether or not the Doctor pushed the robot out of the skin balloon or if he jumped.

 

 

This takes us into the end of the episode, the creepiest part of all: meeting Missy. I don’t know what to make of this woman who claims the Doctor is her boyfriend. Is she “the woman in the shop” from Bells of Saint John? Tara and I thought maybe she was the TARDIS, but the woman that played the TARDIS before was different…but you never know. Is she a villain? Is she good? I guess we’ll eventually find out but that was huge cliffhanger thing for me. I can’t wait to see what goes on with her and the Nethersphere.

 

Evil Mary Poppins?

 

I was really happy with the direction this episode took us and I hope it continues on the right path. I’m excited to get to know #12 better and see what happens with Clara. I don’t know if she’s really leaving the show after the Christmas special or not, but if she continues on this new braver, stronger front then it could be a big loss so soon into the new Doctor’s tenure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Face The Music Friday #48

Saturday – 6 miles

Sunday – 5 mile hike 

Monday – Rest

Tuesday – 5 miles

Wednesday – 1.5 mile ruck (ruck packed with 20 lb of bricks, 100 oz water bladder, foam yoga block)

Office workout Wed – 5 sets of 10 – 4 count flutter kicks and push-ups

Thursday – 5 miles

Office workout Thurs – 3 sets of 10 – 4 count flutter kicks and push-ups

Friday – Kayaking, possibly a ruck

 

You’ll notice I added in “office workouts”. I’m going to start keeping track of the stuff I do throughout the day in my cubicle. There are definitely not all done together, but throughout the day as time allows.

I’m very pleased with this week. Considering the pain that keeps happening during my half training, I’m glad I was able to get 3 full runs in this week. I’m a little concerned about my run this weekend which will be the longest of the training cycle – 10 miles. I’ve only ever run that distance once in April, but I also wasn’t dealing with these nagging injuries at the time (only the lack of endurance from them! LOL). After that, we’ll start going back down in distance until the race – only 3 weeks away now!

I took today off to spend with Tara, who has been on vacation all week. We’re going to go use our other Groupon we got for kayaking and then play it by ear. We have errands to do, but other than that, I might wrap my new “shiny” bricks and get a ruck in this afternoon. I borrowed a different rucksack from another friend (the one I used on Sunday for the hike) and after my run last night we stopped at Home Depot and got the bricks and some fun duct tape. Now I’ll have the exact weight I need to be carrying (4 bricks = 4.5 lb each = 18 lb) to practice with. It’s just a matter of finding the right rucksack now. Tara stopped by her parents house yesterday and also grabbed her brother’s army pack, but that thing is HUGE. I could fit myself, Tara and our 2 cats in there. OK, that might be a slight exaggeration. Either way, it’s far too big for this purpose.

Not much else to say on the week. Nose, grindstone, blah blah blah. For the song this week, this is one I’ve been debating putting up here for weeks now. I heard it on the way home from the run last night on the radio for the first time and decided I would finally pull the trigger and do it this week. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comparison

 

My friend posted this on Facebook the other day and got me thinking about writing this post: “If you compete with everyone else, you will become bitter. If you compete with a previous version of yourself, you will become better. It’s as simple as that.”

Now, I don’t know where she found this quote, or who said it, but the timing couldn’t have been any better. I’ve always had a problem with comparing myself to other people. I know this, it’s obvious, yet I can’t seem to flip that switch in my head. I get incredibly upset during group classes of any type when I can’t do something that seems so simple for others. Or during a race when all these people are just hopping and skipping along and I’m huffing and puffing and dying. Yes, I’m leaps and bounds more fit than I was before, but frustrated at the same time.

I enjoy my running alone time because I only compete with myself. Or my watch, depending on the day. I don’t have anyone else around to worry about getting me into that mindset, not that it’s their fault. Maybe that’s why I’ve shied away from taking too many classes, although finances do play a part and I try to conserve my class cards. I’m frustrated with even my own progress, never mind everyone else there.

What’s really put me in a funk lately is that Tara came to Unleashed for the first time with me on the 14th for an OCF class. She made it over the wall. The same 6 ft wall I’ve been trying to get over since January. Her first class. I was SO incredibly happy for her, so amazingly proud of her, but in my head I wanted to quit the class right then and there and go home. Let’s not forget, my coworker Tom came to that same class for the first time and also made it over the wall. And the countless classes I’ve taken with newbies in their first attempt getting over that wall. It’s like my own personal hell whenever I take that class.

I don’t want to feel this way. I know it’s stupid. I feel ridiculous even writing this, but maybe it will help me sort through some things. I really don’t like my brain sometimes.

 

 

 

 

 

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Follow The Yellow Blaze Trail

 

On Sunday, Tara and I met up with some friends from Unleashed for a hike. This would also be my first training ruck for my GORUCK Light I have coming up in October. Tara was just coming along for the hiking portion and carried her own regular hiking pack. One of the women that came along brought one of their extra rucks and bricks. They recommended I start with only 2 bricks, instead of the 4 bricks I will have to carry during the actual challenge. They thought I should just get used to the weight before anything too crazy – and after the hike we took, I’m glad they told me that.

 

 

We went to the Long & Ell Ponds Trail in Hopkinton, RI. We carpooled in two cars (there were 7 adults and 2 kids) and drove the roughly 30-40 minutes down. Originally, it was thought we wouldn’t do too much because the kids would be with us, but they proved to have more energy than all of us combined. What we estimated would probably end up being a 2-3 mile hike turned into about 5 miles and 3.5 hours (including breaks).

 

 

We were warned that this was a pretty technical trail with some climbing, but I wasn’t sure I expected SO much climbing. I had buckets of sweat flowing all over me and we weren’t going that fast, nor was it that hot out. The beginning, and unfortunately the end, was very heavy on the climbing rocks to continue on the trail. In the beginning with plenty of energy – no big deal. Talk to me again after walking for a few hours and then having to come back that same way! I was very glad to only have 2 bricks in my ruck instead of 4.

 

I promise there is a trail there somewhere

 

This trail had some absolutely breathtaking views and I think it’s one that Tara and I would definitely come to again for a hike. We’d probably plan on bringing a lunch and stopping more often to enjoy it or rest. There’s apparently a lot more down there that we didn’t explore, so maybe next time we’d do a loop. The only reason we did an out and back instead of a loop this time was because one of the women said that it was about a mile on a dirt road, which is kind of boring (and if anything like the drive in, would be dangerous walking on). It was definitely one to add to our list of favorites.

 

 

 

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Carnivores Tour

Saturday night was the Carnivores Tour concert with AFI, 30 Seconds To Mars and Linkin Park. As of my post on Friday, I wasn’t sure I was going to go, but I decided I was going to go that morning. I very much love AFI and Linkin Park, but really only knew the singles for 30 Seconds. I figured knowing 2 out of the 3 bands well (and liking the third enough) that it would be a good show. Was I in for a treat!

 

 

After I got 2 appointments and a 6 mile run out of the way, I headed off to meet my friends in Foxboro at Patriot Place to grab a bite to eat first at Five Guys. I left the house around 3ish and arrived there shortly after they did. I was ravenous from my run (and hadn’t had lunch) so I thoroughly enjoyed a little bacon cheeseburger and some cajun fries. Once we were finished, we decided it would make more sense to all go to the show in one car. I had bought the premium parking pass because I thought I’d be meeting them at the concert by myself and didn’t want to have to wait for two hours to leave the lot after the show, by myself. We all got in my car and that premium pass definitely paid off at the end of the night – we only waited 20 minutes to get out of the lot.

 

 

Patriot Place and the Xfinity Center are only a couple of exits apart, so it didn’t take us long to get there. Parking, on the other hand, was difficult to say the least. When we got off the highway, it was right there, but with no signage for “Premium Parking”. I asked the cop on our way in where to go and he just rudely kept waving and shouted it’s all the same, or something to that affect. Once we got in, we saw one sign that said Premium was in the left lane, so I moved over. We then went around a curve where both lanes merged into one, so I asked the girl about our pass and she moved some orange barrels and told us to go around the corner and “tell them you’re premium”. We go around the corner and see one more sign but it wasn’t clear where we were going, so we asked the next people we approached and he told us to go straight (which was barricaded off), so some guy moved cones for us again and sent us through. We FINALLY arrived to where we were supposed to go, handed the woman our pass and went right in. It was sort of ridiculous it even took this big of a paragraph to describe how dumb the parking situation was.

After we picked out a parking spot, we walked over and got in line to enter. The doors opened about 5 minutes after we got in line, so it was perfect timing. We had no issues going through the bag check and then went in to find our seats. We went to the left until I saw a sign that was pointing the other way for our seats, but then we all spied a cupcake truck and decided to indulge in a treat. Totally worth it, totally delicious. Once we had our treat, we walked over to the proper section and grabbed some drinks on the way in. The merch wasn’t all that exciting so for the second concert in a row I didn’t get a tshirt. Shocking for those who know me, I know.

Once we got inside, I found my friend Alaina from The Jogging Concierge who was, amazingly enough, seated 1 row in front of us and only about 8 seats over. We chatted it up until the show started and decided she should just sit in the empty seats in front of us until people came. I would say not even 1/3 of the place was filled for the opening band, AFI (which is a shame).

 

 

I knew all but one song in the AFI set and they sounded amazing! They started what would be a trend that night of GREAT interaction with the crowd. The lead singer, Davey, walked out onto the crowd in the front row and was literally walking from person to person while they held his feet over their heads. Very cool!

 

 

I’m going to put each band’s set list from that night from setlist.fm, which Dan had told me about. He apparently had researched the tour before we went to see it and knew approximately how many songs each band was going to play, which was kind of good (I think).

AFI played:

The Leaving Song Pt II

Girl’s Not Grey

I Hope You Suffer

Medicate

Love Like Winter

17 Crimes

The Days of the Phoenix

Silver And Cold

Miss Murder

 

Next up was going to be 30 Seconds To Mars. I knew I was only going to know their singles, so I wasn’t sure how much I’d enjoy them. Let me tell you – they put on a hell of a performance. They sounded great and were awesome with the crowd (even inviting tons of people up during the last song). They had balloons to bounce around the crowd and sprayed confetti out of air cannons for a few songs. Jared Leto even stood in the middle of the crowd towards the end and had a little boy sing with him and the little guy knew every word!

 

That blurry figure in the middle of the audience is Jared Leto

They brought tons of people up on stage for their last song

 

30 Seconds played:

Up in the Air

Night of the Hunter

This Is War

Conquistador

Kings and Queens

Do or Die

City of Angels

End Of All Days

Alibi

The Kill (Bury Me)

Closer To The Edge

 

Here is video of the little dude singing with Jared Leto in the middle of the audience. It was a giant acoustic sing-a-long and it was AMAZING.

 

 

 

I honestly might venture a guess that more people came to see 30 Seconds than Linkin Park because after their set was over, the people in front us left (and they weren’t there for AFI either). I noticed quite a few empty seats for Linkin Park actually, but it was still a packed house. I will admit, I was a little bit turned off by the way LP played their set. They did a lot of mashing up/remixing of sorts. They played a few complete songs, but several they would only sing a verse or two and the chorus and then switch to something else. I would just be getting into it and they’d change it mid song so I didn’t enjoy that a ton. I suppose with as many hits as they have it’s difficult to fit them all in when you’re sharing a bill with two other bands. They still sounded awesome and put on a good show. They even threw in some Fort Minor stuff.

 

So many cell phones lit up!

 

LP played:

Guilty All The Same

Given Up

With You

One Step Closer

Blackout

Papercut

Rebellion

Runaway

Wastelands

Castle of Glass

Leave Out All The Rest/Shadow Of The Day/Iridescent

Robot Boy

Joe Hahn Solo

Numb

Waiting For The End

Final Masquerade

Wretches and Kings/Remember The Name

Lying From You

Somewhere I Belong

In The End

Faint

Burn It Down

Lost In The Echo

New Divide

Until It’s Gone

What I’ve Done

Bleed It Out

 

The only video I got of Linkin Park – What I’ve Done:

 

 

 

 

Overall it was a great show and I was happy I decided to go. Everything moved really smoothly transitioning from one band to the next and I don’t think we ever waited more than 20 minutes between bands, which was awesome. If they’re coming to your area and you have the chance, you should absolutely go to this concert.

 

 

 

 

 

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Face The Music Friday #47

Saturday – 4.8 mile Spartan Sprint

Sunday – Rest

Monday – Rest/Chiro (ouch!)

Tuesday – 5 miles

Wednesday – Rest

Thursday – 1 hr OCF class

Friday – Shadowing a bit of Pirelli GORUCK

 

I’ve begun to wonder if my knee pain isn’t from my hamstring. My IT band generally hurt to the lower left of my knee cap, however this time the pain is more in the back of my knee. I did OK during the Spartan Race because we only ran a little bit of the course through flat woods and walked the majority of it. The true test was Tuesday night when I did my next training run of 5 miles. From the get-go it was still sore, but better, so I decided to just see how I did. The switching from running to walking was tough and it almost hurt more when I would stop running, but it never got bad enough that I felt the need to just walk home. It’s been sore since then, but I’m icing/Advil’ing/stretching/rolling and generally taking it easy. I did OCF class Thursday instead of my second training run for the week so that gives me a sort of extended break until my next long run (6 miles) on Sunday.

This weekend is going to be a crazy one. Tomorrow morning, we have dentist cleanings and then the cats have their annual vet appointment. I have a few hours of down time and then the Carnivores Tour concert that night. I am debating not going to the concert, though, for reasons I’d rather not get into, so we’ll see about that. I do want to see the bands, so it’s a toss-up for me. Sunday, Tara and I might possibly be going on a training ruck/hike with some Unleashed friends to get me started on training for the GORUCK Light I signed up for in October (which I can’t remember if I mentioned before). I’m kind of really excited about that!

In honor of the concert tomorrow, you get a trifecta of videos today. One of my favorites from all 3 of the bands I will possibly be seeing tomorrow. Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Spartan Sprint – Amesbury, MA – Race Recap

Yesterday’s race was hard. Like, incredibly hard. I always say that Tough Mudder is the hardest thing I’ve ever done but this would rival right up there with it. We didn’t have quite the elevation change that we did at Mount Snow for TM, however we had a good amount of up and down some pretty gnarly hills at Amesbury Sports Park. They did a fantastic job with this course and I was pretty impressed. To give you an idea of it, here’s a “leaked” picture of the course map that someone posted a couple of days beforehand and then the Garmin GPS data from a fellow Spahten (thanks Adam Ouellette!).

 

4.8 miles of madness

 

It was an absolutely gorgeous day for a race. The sun was shining, the humidity was reasonable and we had a slightly lower temp than normal (for August anyway). I think it was low 80s by the time our Spahten wave went off at 11:30am. And speaking of Spahtens, we had biggest team and had our OWN wave with a little over 250 members running at the same time. Totally amazing, and totally difficult to take a team photo.

 

Photo credit: Vince Rhee

 

Tara and I left the house around 6:15 to meet up with Zak at Unleashed who was going to ride up with us. The traffic wasn’t bad going up so we arrived in Amesbury around 8:30, just as other members of Unleashed were arriving. We hooked up with them at the viewing area near the Hercules Hoist so we could watch the Elite racers come through. We got to see the ever awesome Chrystal finish (taking 8th for Elite women!), as well as a few other Spahtens and Unleashed team members. And let’s not forget to mention I met one of my favorite bloggers – Heather from Relentless Forward Commotion. Thanks to Keisha for the sly picture!

 

 

We hung out for a while cheering people on and then I headed to the Spahtens tent to figure out who I was going to run with. I knew my friend Tony would be there so I searched him out and Sylvia was there, but was feeling pretty off after she did the Hurricane Heat earlier in the day. I don’t blame her at all for not running twice. If you don’t know what the Spartan HH is, you should Google it. Hardcore.

Originally, I thought I’d be running with two women I didn’t know, that I had been hooked up with by Dennis after running with him at Dirty Dash. I had never met them and had no idea what they looked like, so I never ended up seeing them. I also thought I was running with Stephanie from Unleashed, but she opted to run earlier and thought she could run it twice and run again with me at 11:30. Unfortunately, she hadn’t finished yet when we were lining up to start. Chrystal ended up jumping into the wave just after we started to help me out – so I ended up with Chrystal (for 2/3 of the race), Tony, his friend Kelly and another Spahten, Wendy, who I had first met at the Finish at the 50 race. We had so much fun as a team and did great helping each other out. There were a couple of other people that seemed to pop in and out as well (Drew, Alex, Al and maybe some others I’m forgetting?). It took me 3:00:54 to finish, but the time flew by with these guys by my side (and yes I’m bitter that 55 seconds kept me from getting a sub-3 finish LOL).

 

Tony, Kelly and I at the start

And we’re off!

 

I did more burpees than I thought I’d be doing at this race. I feel like there were more volunteers at Mohegan (my only other Spartan Race to date) and therefore more help to get you over/through obstacles. There were certain obstacles I didn’t see a single volunteer (not to say they weren’t there, just not noticeable). I skipped the inverted wall early on simply because I knew how difficult it was for THREE big, burly volunteers to get me over it. I didn’t want to do that to any teammates so I just hopped to the side and banged out my burpees.

Let’s do a play-by-play of the obstacles, shall we?

First off, they start you out running up the big hill by the main festival area and you immediately go through a couple of big mud trenches at the top, then it was into the woods we go! I can’t remember if things went by order of this map or not, but I’ll break them down in that order.

Somewhere near the start, and not on the map, were mud pits we had to go in and then cross over large logs to the other side.

 

 

OUT walls – I did fine on these, no burpees. The over wall is only the ever issue. I cheated a bit on this, but got over it myself using the side rail support beam. You’re not supposed to use that to get over, so that is why I considered it cheating. Rolling under and going through the other two walls is easy.

Another wall – this one I think is the one I got 10 fingers from some random guy that helped me out

Inverted wall – as I said before, I burpeed out on this one on purpose

Tractor Pull – this is basically a big cinder block with a chain through it that you had to drag down and back through the mud. A little difficult, but not terrible and easy enough to do by myself.

Tire pull/drag – You had to pull a large tire on a rope towards you, then take the tire and drag it back out to it’s starting point. This was easy for me.

Sandbag carry – we had to grab a little pillow sized sandbag and carry it down a hill and then back up. I want to say the women’s weight was probably 30 lb or less. Not sure about men.

Monkey bars – I wasn’t taking any chances so I stepped to the side and did burpees for this one

Rope swing – This was basically like a Tarzan style rope swing from one platform to the next. Tony went first so that he could catch me on the other side. I was really nervous about this one because of my shoulder, but was feeling pretty good so I tried it after some coaching from Tony and those around me. I ran the few steps I had room to run, swung out, but just didn’t have enough momentum to reach the other side for him to get me. I ended up in the water in a lot of pain. I climbed out and just took a minute to take a few deep breaths and collect myself after I tweaked it there.

Hercules Hoist – we were told by a volunteer at this obstacle that men was 100 lb and women was 70 lb. However, this varies from person to person – some people who helped out on course build said women’s was 85 lb so I have no idea. To save my shoulder and help Wendy out, we opted to lift it together and do it twice. Not a problem. If my shoulder wasn’t dinged up, I may have attempted it myself. It didn’t feel as heavy as Mohegan did.

 

Me and Wendy tag teaming the Herc Hoist

 

Bucket Brigade – you had to take a Home Depot style bucket (I think they’re 5 gallon buckets?) and fill it with gravel. The women had a slightly lower line to fill it to and the men had to fill it almost to the top. This was a killer for pretty much everybody out there, even the Elite racers. Wendy and I again opted to do it together so we each carried a side of the bucket. We still stopped to rest twice on the way up and once on the way down. It was definitely not light!

 

This is what exhaustion looks like

 

Bridge – same as Mohegan. Climb up one side, walk across on planks, climb down other side. This was over the starting area so you walked under it when you went to line up to race. Cool placement and not that bad.

 

 

Slip Wall – I believe this is called the slip wall because it normally has water before it, but they didn’t have anything like that in front of it. Instead, they made us crawl under maybe 10-15 ft of barb wire before climbing over it. I had a little bit of a hard time with it, but I got coached through it and did OK.

 

Wendy doing the Slip Wall. No pic of me because Stephanie ran to the other side to help get me over.

 

Another wall (taller) – I tried it, but with no volunteers and being exhausted already, I opted for burpees

Rope climb – didn’t even attempt it – more burpees

Traverse wall – attempted it, but wasn’t happening – more burpees

 

Steph doing the traverse wall

 

Spear Throw – bad shoulder=bad throw, but I tried twice anyway. Tony threw twice so I wouldn’t have to do burpees and he nailed both of his, but I still did some burpees because I suck and missed twice. LOL

 

 

Barb Wire Crawl w/ Dunk Wall – hardest, most painful obstacle of the day (not counting the incident with the rope swing). We had to roll under barb wire for somewhere probably close to 200-250 feet (!!!), going over rocks upon rocks and probably 4-5 mud hills that they built up for us to climb over in between rolling. After we finally got through that, we slid down a mud hill into about neck deep water which led to a wall we had to swim underwater to get to the other side. I didn’t mind that part because it cleaned off all the dirt and mud from the rolling!

 

This is pure happiness to be done rolling under barb wire!

 

Fire jump – self explanatory. I feel like this was slightly higher than Mohegan, but not as wide to jump. No issues here. It was pretty cool because right before I went, a couple of guys asked them to throw some gasoline on the fire so it would flame up for them to jump through. Looked equally badass and scary to me!

After the fire jump, we just needed to run back down the hill to the finish line! I was so happy to be done with this tough course! The hills and trails were definitely a tough obstacle.

 

 

I’m so happy to have had the Battle Buddies I had yesterday and the support of Chrystal and Stephanie on the course as well as Tara on the sidelines hooking me up with some badly needed Powerade. I think that helped me get through that last mile when I was bonking.

 

 

Spartan definitely put on a really great race. Everything flowed seamlessly, from the parking, to the shuttle buses, to registration. There were a lot of good vendors there and food options as well (I’ve never been so happy to eat a crappy cheeseburger in my life). I would suggest maybe more hoses and a bigger changing tent, but other than that I really have no complaints!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Face The Music Friday #46

Saturday – 8 miles

Sunday – Rest

Monday – 5 miles

Tuesday – 1 hr Core Fusion & Stretch class at Unleashed

Wednesday – Rest

Thursday – Rest

Friday – Rest

 

I’m not gonna lie – this wasn’t a good week. Saturday was a very, very soggy 8 miles in the rain. And I don’t mean like a drizzle. It was pouring on me steadily the majority of the time I was running. I did it though, and only did it that day to rearrange my entire workout week. I had it planned down to a T, then it all kind of fell apart.

Saturday after my run I had a lot of hip soreness (which I always do), but my IT band was also bothering me on the other side (the bad IT band). I had my ice bath when I got home, popped some Advil and did my stretching and rolling right away, but it only seemed to get worse as the afternoon went on. I figured some sleep would help and when I woke up Sunday, it was still sore, but not as bad. I decided to chill out and see how Monday went before deciding on my next run scheduled, which was 5 miles.

 

 

Monday was OK so I went for my run after work. Apparently, it wasn’t OK. By the time I got back to my car to stretch, I could barely stand on it. Not cool. I decided then and there that I likely wouldn’t be running again until the Spartan race on Saturday, which was a bummer because I had rearranged my schedule so I could run in the Off Road Conditioning class on Wednesday. I suffered through work on Tuesday in a decent amount of pain anytime I put weight on my leg, but decided I would still go to a new class I wanted to try out Tuesday night because I thought it could be beneficial.

 

 

The class on Tuesday was Core Fusion & Stretch. It was basically 1/2 hour of core work and 1/2 hour of stretching – the majority of the hour was basically yoga poses we would hold for about a minute each. I’m not gonna lie, I was sweating my ass off even though we were “just stretching”. It was a very difficult class, for me personally, so I was glad it was only 5 women taking it so there were less people to see me embarrass myself.

It’s really hard for me to do a lot of floor work because of various issues I have and I always feel like people are judging me, like I’m not trying hard enough. The issue is that I know my body and I will NOT push through pain. Toughness, yes, I’ll work through something difficult, but if it hurts me to have my lower back against the floor, I just can’t do it. Do I want to do it, yes. Do I feel like a failure when my body won’t let me, yes. Are people really judging me? I’m sure they’re not – doesn’t change my mindset. Regardless, doing what I could, I still got a kickass workout from Bobby and am still sore two days later.

Aside from workouts, I’ve just felt “off” this week. Maybe it’s because my schedule got messed up and I got injured again. Actually, I’m pretty sure that’s why. I’m a planner, and when things don’t happen according to plan, I get easily perturbed. Add into this mix that the air conditioning is broken at work (only in our one corner of the building on the third floor) and it’s been 88* inside for the last two days (and likely today too) and that makes for a cranky Courtney.

Saturday is my second of 3 Spartan Races for the year. I’m more nervous about this one than I was the first one for some reason. Maybe because I’ve actually run one now and know how difficult it can be? Who knows. I have some Battle Buddies ready to run with and am hoping they can help me over the walls like my friend Zak did at the first one. If I have to walk the whole thing because of my hip and knee, I hope they’ll still stick with me, but I’m going to try to run where I can.

 

 

Before I move on to the musical selection this week, I have a question for all the runners out there (if you’ve made it this far): if my Spartan Race is almost 5 miles on Saturday, but I’m supposed to do my long run Sunday of 9 miles, what would you do? Would you count the race as your tough workout of the weekend? Would you run the race Saturday and then run 9 on Sunday, or would you run 4 additional on Sunday to make the 9? I’m really torn about how to handle it and welcome any advice.

Now, to cheer me up a little, here’s a perky little number called I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker by Sandi Thom. Have a great weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bucket List

I’ve had this drafted for a while, but finally decided to share it. Feel free to tell me some other awesome things I may have missed. I’ll probably never get to do 90% of these, but it’s fun to dream.

 

 

Places to visit:

Ireland
Australia
New Zealand
England
Egypt
France
Italy
Greece
Switzerland
Fiji
Bora Bora

 

Specific locations to visit:

The Who Shop (London)
Passerelle des Arts (Paris) or Hohenzollernbruecke Bridge (Cologne, Germany)
Eiffel Tower
Great Pyramids of Giza Necropolis (Egypt)
Abbey Road Crossing (London)
Buckingham Palace (London)
Grand Canyon (including Skywalk)
Ground Zero (New York)
Palace of Versailles (France)
Louvre (Paris)
Sky Deck (Chicago)
Great Wall of China
Cliffs of Moher (Ireland)
Stonehenge (UK)
Mayan Ruins (not sure which area yet)
Machu Picchu (Peru)
Atlantis Resort (Bahamas)
Mall of America (Minnesota)
Trevi Fountain (Rome)
Parthenon (Greece)
Colosseum (Rome)
Sistine Chapel (Vatican City)
USS Arizona (Hawaii)
Great Barrier Reef (Australia)
Area 51 (Nevada)
Mount Vesuvius (Italy)
Igloo Village (Finland)
Redwood National Park (California)
Yosemite National Park (California)
Arlington National Cemetery (DC)
The White House, U.S. Capitol, The Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, Mount Vernon, The Smithsonian, and the U.S. Holocaust Museum (DC/VA)
New Orleans, LA
Blue Lagoon (Iceland)
Taj Mahal (India)
Leaning Tower of Pisa (Italy)
Auschwitz (Poland)
Petra (Jordan)
Sydney Opera House (Australia)
Red Square (Russia)
Easter Island (off coast of Chile)
Golden Gate Bridge (San Francisco)
Toys R Us Times Square (New York)
FAO Schwartz (New York)

 

Things to do:

Become a parent
Float in the Dead Sea
Get a hot stone massage
Visit all 50 U.S. states
Fly first class
Drive Route 66
See the Northern Lights
Eat a cheesesteak in Philly
Sit on the Green Monster at Fenway
Try butterbeer
Watch a Patriots game from the sidelines
Go to a Celtics game
Go to a Bruins game
Go to a Super Bowl
Go to a World Series
Learn how to surf
Learn to play guitar
Go to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
Go on a safari
Go in a submarine
Ride in a helicopter
Go on a cruise
Swim with dolphins
Do a polar bear plunge
Scuba dive
Own a beach cottage
Eat the best rated cheeseburger in every state
Meet Maggie Smith
Meet Trent Reznor
Meet Stephen King
Tour a REAL castle (Ireland, England, some place like that)
Sail a boat
Attend an Olympic Games
Stargaze at the Atacama Desert in Chile
Take dance lessons
Go to South by Southwest
Go to Voodoo Festival
Go to Reading Festival
Visit Rock N Roll Hall of Fame
Ride a gondola in Italy
Ride a cable car in San Francisco
Participate in geocaching
Ride a Segway
See a Cirque du Soleil show
Travel through the Chunnel
Learn sign language
Take a road trip with no destination
Ride in a hot air balloon
Go to a Premier League game with proper hooligans

 

 

 

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