Spartan Sprint, Here I Come!

Posted on Apr 20, 2015 under 5 Mile, 5K, Obstacle | No Comment

I’m not 100% sure how it happened, but I’m “enlisted” for my first Spartan Sprint race this summer.  My sister has done a few different obstacle/mud races in the past few years. My secret Santa at school this year got me a copy of Mud & Obstacle Magazine. I think those two events and the fact that I’ve been doing Crossfit for awhile now made me think that I could enjoy doing an obstacle race.

So then it was more of a matter of finding one. So I found this helpful website: Mud Run Guide. According to the list there are 8 events this year, but last year’s calendar had 38 different events so I don’t think it is fully accurate.  So my sister and I reviewed the events and dates and chose to compete in the 1st Twin Cities based Spartan Sprint on June 27.

From the website:

Welcome to Welch Village.

Located less than an hour outside the Twin Cities, this mountain will have you running up, down, across, and around this 1,060 foot mountain in a 3+ mile Sprint. Who will be the first Spartan to conquer this new location? Looming hills, dense woods, and brutal barbed wire are just a few of the obstacles that will stand in your way. Will you reign supreme?

Distance: 3-5 miles
Obstacles: 20-23

Avg. Temperature: High 80, Low 59
Avg. rainfall: 4.21 in.
Elevation: 1,060 ft
Avg. finish time: 1.5 hours
Fastest finish time: 40 minutes
Special gear needed: Racers should plan to bring appropriate fuel for their needs. No fuel will be provided on course, only water. Hydration packs (or water containers of some variety) are strongly suggested for all racers.

Start Time: 7:30am

Waves of 250 athletes will be released every 15 minutes across 3 groups (Elite, Morning, Afternoon).

Did you see that? 3-5 mile race that takes 40 minutes for the winner, that’s because there will be 20+ obstacles and 1,ooo feet of elevation gain.  That should be fairly rough!

So, how does one train for this? The Elite’s do a pretty rugged regime that includes endurance and strength work combined with obstacle specific work. There are also places to go specifically to train for these type of events. But that isn’t really a good option.  Spartan offers a 30 day training plan and they have the Spartan Workout Tour which is a few hour boot camp. The Workout Tour is coming to Minneapolis and Rochester in May.

My plan? I’ll continue my training as normal – Crossfit, Running, and Biking each a few times a week.  I will incorporate more hill work and try to find some places that I can do some “obstacle” type things in the middle of my runs.  Or if all else fails do body weight work every mile or so on a run.  Pushing a stroller is tough work too right?

April Arrived

Posted on Apr 02, 2015 under 30Days | No Comment

Wow, April came in with a blast here in Minnesota. And not an arctic one! No joke, April started with an 84 degree day followed by thunderstorms. But lets look back at March. The last few weeks have all kind of been a blur though the last week welcomed Spring Break and a nice change of pace.

The goals for March were:
Declutterwhat can be thrown away, given away, or put away somewhere else. An item a day or 31 items. This was quite successful. I’ve thrown out or boxed up for Goodwill more than 31 items. This started mostly as clothing items but then I started cleaning up other areas.  Let’s just say that the trash can and recycling bin were full and we made a trip to Goodwill.

Ride the Bike Outside – pretty self-explanatory.  I did manage to get outside 3 times on my bike this month. I think twice to the gym and once to work.  The warmer than normal spring sure helped with that!  I did some other riding on my trainer and at spin class so I’ve been doing some riding, but not enough for the Dickie’s Scramble.

Here are some statistics from this month:

Running – 27.4 miles! My largest month since like November!

Biking – 45 miles (spin classes were estimated guesses)

Crossfit – I went 9 times!!

Mobility – 24 times

We only went on 1 kid-less date again and it was with friends to see Selma (powerful movie).  Since it was the end of the quarter I needed to be at tab and inbox zero.  I made great progress but didn’t succeed! I got some help by having computer problems that essentially lost a zillion tabs I had open, but I still couldn’t get it done.  So at the end of next quarter all the e-mails from this past quarter need to be gone.

I only have one goal for April – 30 Days of Biking!! #30daysofbiking  I did decide that I’m going to try and wear some type of bike apparel every day for the month and Instagram it too!

How was your March?

Race Review: 6k for Water

Posted on Mar 23, 2015 under 6k, Charity, My Running, Race Review, World Vision | No Comment

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About 10 of us met at the Linden Hills Sebastian Joe’s Ice Cream shop to start a 6k around Lake Harriet. The 35 degree weather and impending snow storm wouldn’t usually seem to abnormal but having had near 70’s weather made it a little harder to get prepared for a cold race/run. Gathered among us were 3 strollers! This could have been the 6k stroller dash for clean water!

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Why a 6k? The average distance people travel for water in parts of Africa is about 6 kilometers one way. It took us about 40 minutes to run 3.72 miles, can you imagine walking that carrying a 5 gallon container of water? I can’t. But that is the daily task for many women and children across the developing world. My “registration fee” of $50 helped to provide Edwin from Kenya with clean water for the rest of his life.

Like training for a race, there is a long process for him to get clean water, but the finish line is now in sight. Soon he will be able to walk a short distance and get clean, healthy water. This will improve his overall quality of life by allowing him more time for school, he’ll be sick less often due to dirty water, and he’ll be safer by not requiring long walks to get the water.

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For our part in the virtual event we met at Sebastian Joe’s which happens to be below the local World Vision office. From there our group headed to Lake Harriet and we chatted and had a grand time for the first mile or so. Then like many runs (at least with me) someone pushes the pace, I think this time it was a cute kid and her dad who would run ahead and then she’d hop in the stroller for a bit. And suddenly the group starts getting split up as the pace increases. We were at sub-9 for the middle mile. Around Lake Harriet the running path is pretty flat so we were able to keep the strollers rolling pretty well.

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At the Lake Harriet Band Shell we turned right and headed towards Lake Calhoun. From here until the finish we hit some “rollers”. The hills really aren’t that bad, but those of us pushing double strollers felt them a lot more than normal! I had only glanced at the course map briefly and Anne wasn’t 100% sure so we had to make sure we didn’t veer of course as we turned at the light and then the next light and ended the run on the sidewalk running down Sheridan. At some point around the Band Shell Nadia started singing in the trailer, loudly! We rolled into the finish line and celebrated our success! Our little team had raised almost $2,500 for clean water projects (we were the 5th ranked team as of this writing). We joined 1,400 people in all 50 states for this first time virtual event!!

You can’t be that close to Sebastian Joe’s and not get some ice cream. Even if it is snowing outside! This little guy will probably never know what it is like to carry 5 gallons of water for 6k. And hopefully together we can provide easy access to clean water to for everyone before he starts running competitively. Will you help make that a reality? Please donate to my fundraising mission this year!

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The World Vision Virtual 6K For Water March 22

Posted on Mar 15, 2015 under 6k, My Running, World Vision | No Comment

Join me in running a 6k on March 22 and provide clean water for life for a kid in Africa. Simple, easy peasy. Click here to do it!

YOU’RE IN!

Thanks for joining World Vision’s first Virtual 6K For Water!

Your registration fee of $50 will provide clean water for one child. The cool part? On March 22, you’ll walk or run with a picture (on your race bib) of the child you’re providing water for.

Next steps?

1. Watch your mailbox! In the next 7-10 business days you’ll be receiving your Virtual 6K Race Kit containing your race shirt, your individualized race bib, and a how-to guide.
2. Log In to your dashboard for access to a Couch-to-6k training plan, announcements, and other resources.
3. Download the the GPS Smartphone app, MAP MY RUN (or visit mapmyrun.com) and choose a start/finish line for your 6K.
4. Invite 5 Friends to run with you. The more friends you invite, the more people in Kenya we can provide with clean water. Share this photo on social media with the message below:
“6K is the avg. distance that kids have to walk for water in Africa. Walk/Run 6K with me on World Water Day to bring water and hope. teamworldvision.org/6k “

We’ll be in touch with more tips and inspiration as March 22nd gets closer.

Thank you!

Running Across Lake Superior

Posted on Mar 10, 2015 under 4 Mile, My Running, Race Review, Winter | No Comment

It isn’t every day you get the opportunity to run across a Great Lake.  Especially Lake Superior.  My buddy Brad and I did that over the weekend.  Our families went up to Bayfield to check out the Superior Ice Caves and the Bayfield Winter Festival.  A part of the Bayfield Winter Festival each year is a race across the ice road from Bayfield to Madeline Island and back, known as the Run on Water. (this year’s winning time was 24:59).

Smartly for the weather, the race starts at 11am.  Sadly, for us this was too late in the morning for us to be able to check-out on time and not ruin the day for our families.  So we set out to run the same course a little earlier in the morning.

It was a surprisingly warm morning (and weekend) which we were not going to complain about!

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Before we set out on the ice we had to make sure our YakTrax were installed.  Brad was wearing the coilly YakTrax Pro and I was wearing the new spikey YakTrax Run.  We both had decent traction given that most of the run was on sheer ice, think running on an ice rink!  This is the view from the Bayfield side of the ice road.  The road gets plowed and maintained by the County! 

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The race course was pretty much already setup for us! Pretty low key! 

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Here we are on Madeline Island at the half way point! They did have mile markers posted for the race, but no sign indicating the turn-around spot.  So we stepped foot on the island and then turned around! 

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This is the view from the turn around, looking back at Bayfield. 

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There were a few of these little signs reminding drivers to be careful.  The speed limit on the road is 15mph, so I guess it is to be extra careful! This year’s race also included a longer bike race that went 12 miles instead of the 4 for the runners.  I’m not sure what their course was.  But as we were leaving town we saw some people riding a tandem bike with a race number affixed to the handlebars! And it wasn’t a fat bike. 

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Here is a picture I took of the ice.  It was really pretty in places to look down and see 2 feet worth of ice below you! 

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We made it to the finish line in one piece! Neither of us fell so that was a great thing! 

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Here is the GPS of our run! Straight across the lake and back! Pretty unbelievable! 

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Our pace was pretty slow throughout the run.  We were taking shorter strides than normal and we could both feel it in our quads and hip flexors.  Shorter strides meant less chance of falling though!! 

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Here is the Strava data from the run:

Welcome to March!!

Posted on Mar 01, 2015 under 30Days | No Comment

Here we go into March! February was a little bit of a rough month.  Extreme cold days and illness.  The two goals for February were to Read a Poem Every Day and to Write 4 Poems.

I read way more than 28 poems! In the process of reading poems I also made some work towards another goal of finishing books that I started.  I finished reading through The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou.  It was hard to read only one of her poems at a time so I’d read 3 or 4 at a go. I purchased the book last year after she passed away so was glad to finally get around to finishing it. Over the last few days I just searched for poems to read to finish out the month.

I did write 4 poems! I might share them at a later date! We shall see… They were all pretty short (one is actually a haiku!) but were a good foray back into the mindset of writing poems like in high school.  Although in high school there was no website to double check my syllable count!

I continue to make progress on other goals as well:

– I’m still way off last year’s running mileage for the month (33 in 2014 and 14 in 2015).  I don’t remember why I didn’t run the first week of the month, was it too cold or too stressed at work? And then I got a sinus infection towards the end of the month.

–  After talking about planning a spring bike race I finally got around to getting the trainer setup and have used it 4 times this month.  My bike computer needed batteries so I didn’t get mileage for the first few rides, but in the mileage count for the month I estimated (on the conservative side) that I rode 44 miles.  Last year I rode 5 times on the trainer. I also hit a spin class at the YMCA which was a pretty good workout.

– The aforementioned sinus infection hit me on the week that I could have done Crossfit three times  so I only got it once which really hurt my ability to go.  I’ve been trying to make up some of the missed weight lifting workouts on the weekend at the YMCA,  but it isn’t the same.  5/9 times again in February.

– I did mobility 21 days, which is a high percentage than in January.

– Christy and I disagree on the number of kidless dates that we had.  I think we did 2, but neither of us can remember what the other date was.  We went to the new Surly Tap Room and it was excellent food and excellent beer!

My plan for March is to declutter my spaces.. what can be thrown away, given away, or put away somewhere else. An item a day or 31 items.  A Facebook friend posted that for Lent they are getting rid of a bag of stuff a day! That is a lot of stuff.  Similar to last year and with “decluttering the digital” life this can be hard to stop once you get into the flow of it.  We’ve already given a few bags of stuff to Goodwill this year from our kitchen.

I also hope to get outside and ride the bike some.  That is very dependent on the weather, but hopefully it will start to warm up.  Even though March is the snowiest month of the year it also tends to dry up quickly.  Though this winter no one really knows!

Since March is also the last month of the quarter I need to be working on getting to Inbox and Tab Zero!! Yikes :)

Happy 2nd Birthday Stridebox!

Posted on Feb 22, 2015 under Nutrition, Product Review | No Comment

CAM06258I was only a subscriber to Stridebox for a short time in their inaugural year, but they continue to impress and go the extra mile.  For the 2nd year in a row, I got a Happy Birthday box from them.  No, not my birthday… their birthday!  I wrote about their birthday box last year and one of the boxes I got in their inaugural year.

Stridebox was at the forefront of the monthly subscriber revolution.  At least in my eyes, now there are a lot of them from snack food to men’s clothing.  I originally signed up in early 2013 and enjoyed getting boxes for almost a year.  The boxes contained a variety of sample nutritional products and as time went on more actual products that were just starting out.  And it seems more Stridebox branded products as well.

CAM06256 The Stridebox box is a great size for organizing and having around the house. Every box also comes with nice tissue paper wrapping, although not usually gold! And the handwritten (really?) cards are a nice touch!  This year’s birthday box had less nutrition and more products!

From the top, clockwise:

  • Bandana thing
  • Shoe mileage counter
  • Stride lights that flash when they shake (so with every footstep of your shoe)
  • Nuun Energy tablets
  • Stickers
  • Stridebox training log (nicely done, but who uses paper and pencil?)
  • PR Bar
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It is probably safe to say that this box is worth $15.  The question is more about is it $15 worth of stuff I would have bought on a monthly basis?  When I was running consistently and training for longer races I easily used all the nutrition products and some of  the other random ones.  Now that my mileage is way down I don’t go through nutrition products at the same rate.

I would still recommend signing up for Stridebox.  If you haven’t why not?

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